Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Watermelon" cupcakes

There's not much to these cupcakes...they are just so darn cute I had to post them.
I love making regular sized cupcakes, but I have had this ridiculous fascination lately trying to take the regular cupcakes that I make and somehow make them work with my mini-cupcake maker.  Ta-da!

All you have to do is dye your cupcakes pink, dye your frosting green, and put mini-chocolate chips in the cupcake batter to make it look like watermelon seeds.


Super cute!
Super mini!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Accio Cupcakes!

Ok, ok, O.K.!              I admit it!               I LOVE HARRY POTTER!  Like...a lot...
It's been more than just a book series to me. I began reading Harry Potter when I was 12 years old. Harry Potter and I basically grew up together.

Ok...this post is getting weird. The reason I even bring this up, is because for the release of the last and final Harry Potter (or, as us nerds refer to it as HP 7.2) we felt it necessary to have a P-A-R-T-Y! (Not that it takes a lot for me to find an excuse...)

Here is a picture of my favorite treat from our Potter party.

Couldron Cupcakes:

Ok, so here is how you make these delicious little treats.

You make your cupcake mix, as usual, but when you fill the cupcake pan with the batter, put a large marshmallow in the center. This will make it bubble up. While it's cooling, make sure you press it down to make a crater.

Then make some vanilla pudding and dye it green (or purple, or pink...whatever color you want your magic potion to be). Pour the pudding in the little marshmallow cup. The marshmallow will do two things (besides be delicious) 1: make it so that the pudding doesn't soak into the cupcakes and make them soggy and 2: Helps it look more like a couldron of bubbly potion.


We MIGHT like Harry Potter a little too much.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Family Room Redo

I am slowly getting my house nearer and nearer to completion. Not that I ever intend on being "finished"...as there are always things that can be done to improve or mix things up!

This weekend I spent quite a few hours in the family room. The more I looked around, the less I liked it. I knew that I had more to do in here, but all of a sudden I couldn't wait anymore. I had to do it, and I had to do it - now.  Perhaps my new desk sparked my inspiration and creativity? At any rate, I found myself being faced with two problems. Luckily, I was able to cure them both.

Problem #1: Hideous hand-me-down pillows that have been taunting me from the corner of my craft room for months...and my space for years (sad, I know).


Solution #1: A quick trip to Joanne's fabric + one old shower curtain that had also been the cause of much aggravation. 

Chocolate and Teal - wonderful combo in my humble opinion

Problem #2: Too much boring beige in my family room. Everywhere I look - boring, boring, and more boring!

We usually use this ottoman for additional seating

Toby and Boozer love cuddling on this boring couch

Solution #2: See Solution 1* 'nuff said. 

I la-la-LOVE the french damask pattern

Comfy AND cute!

And look how lovely my desk looks with those few pops of color!! Yaaay me!

Target sure is wonderful :)

Stuffed Peppers

One of my favorite parts about summer is the abundance of fresh, local, delicious produce.  It's easy to walk down to the Farmers Market and buy $45 worth of fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices...but once I get it home I struggle to turn those odds and ends into a meal before they go bad.

This recipe is good for several reasons. First of all, it allows you to put as many (or as few) veggies as you'd like. Secondly, you can make as much or as little as you'd like -depending on how many you are feeding. Lastly, it's SO easy it's almost ridiculous. Anything that allows me to start dinner, then walk away for several hours is the key to my heart! (crock pot- booyah!)

Step #1: Mix the following ingredients in your crock pot (plus whatever else you want)
  • Vegetarian meatballs
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Olives
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
    (+ 2 cans of water)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • Fresh sliced tomatoes
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Chili powder
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • Dried onions

Step #2: Turn the crock pot on low and go about your daily chores. Come back 5 or so hours later.

The meatballs should stew themselves out of the meatball shape and should just turn into a sloppy, gooey  consistency.

Step #3: Cook some rice and shred some cheese, then hollow out the insides of two large green peppers. I layered the cheese, rice, and meatball concoction until the pepper was full to the top. Then I stood the peppers up in a cupcake pan so they wouldn't tip over and baked them in the oven on 400 for about 10 minutes...just long enough to melt the cheese and make the edges of the pepper start to brown and curl.

Once they were out of the oven, I cut them in half and sprinkled them with more chili powder and crushed red pepper (we love spicy!). Delish!

Please keep in mind that this is another one of those things that we eat that tastes better than it looks. :)

Ashlee: 1
Hunger: 0

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Best. Desk. EVER.

If you know me, then you know that I spend at least an hour or so everyday on KSL, browsing the treasures and sorting through the junk. I LOVE to see the things that people post and look at most things and daydream about how beautiful I could make them, given the money and the time.

One such day, I came across such a find in this desk for $25.

I really had no idea what I was in for....

I mean....REALLY did not know...

I picked up this treasure and brought it back to my folks place for a spit shine and sand down. I didn't realize how bad of shape the desk was in before I agreed to take this project on. This is a perfect example of buying on emotion, without thinking it through completely. Oh, well. All is well that ends well I suppose.

First order of business (after peeling off stickers, wiping off sticky stuff and dust, and removing those terribly hideous knobs) was to remove the part of the desk that folded up to expose the part underneath. To do this, (without completely destroying the desk) I had to get a small handheld saw to actually cut the old hinges out. The hinges were built into a piece of wood, and then that wood was glues onto the existing part of the desk. If I would have just removed the strip of wood that contained the hinges, the desk top would have been to narrow to fit the computer on. So...I began hacking away.

After the fold out top was removed, I grabbed my handy dandy wood filler and began filling all the holes and cracks that this desk so terribly needed. 

Like I said, if I had inspected this desk more thoroughly before buying it, I probably would have opted against it. Since I let my imagination make the decision for me, I had to make the best of what I had to work with.

SO - I filled all the holes (where the hinges were, as well as the two drill holes that it took to hold each ugly knob onto each drawer).

Up close you can see the less-than-desirable condition of this wood

Once the filler had dried, I sanded it down so that it could be covered with primer. I used white primer because I knew that I wanted to sand down the edges of the desk so that it would keep that antique, old, french country kind of feel to it. 

After I had covered the desk in two coats of primer, I began applying the top coat of paint. I went with an almond, vanilla kind of color (which I love) for the actual desk. 

The back part of the desk is really hashed. I will eventually have to replace it completely, but that is another task for another day. I would have liked to have removed it completely until I can replace it, but I would have been unable to do so without compromising the structural integrity of the whole piece. So far, that is the only thing that I don't love about this desk.

The drawers I decided to paint chocolate brown so that they would match the rest of the furniture in the front room, and also to make them stand out. I then installed the new, 73 cent knobs  (compliments of Lowe's) and sanded down the edges of the desk, too to make them look worn.

I must say, that I am quite pleased with the end result!

I will still need to remove the back board of this desk, (as you can see) but the stool that I bought to use with the desk will hide the wood...for now.

Awesomeness at it's finest!


Love Birds on My Wall

I've seen a lot of things being done lately with old book pages. Truth be told, I just can't bring myself to tear up a book. So...here is my rendition of this technique in the project below that gave me the idea:

This matches perfectly in our room, and helps fill the empty frame that was hanging up by itself. Why, yes. This was as easy as it looks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Canine Cookie Jar

Can I just tell you how much I love that I am the "Go-to Gal" when it comes to people dejunking their houses? They either are too emotionally attached to their things to throw them out completely, or I am assuming they know that I love to snazzy-up old out-dated yuckies. A lot of the things in my house are hand-me-downs or "up-cycled" from garage sales, the DI or KSL. Guess what? I'm super proud of it.

Case in point:

This cheesy lovely canister - once belonging to a whole set (which, God knows where the other canisters in the set are) that resided on my Grandmothers kitchen countertop. Now, the cheese stands alone.

I thought about changing the color scheme of my kitchen to match...but decided better of it.
The shape of this canister was nice, and I knew that with a little TLC it could be wonderful again.

So, I primed it and painted it in hopes of starting with a blank white canvas. Sadly, it was just not meant to be. The chicken, eggs and flowers are not just painted on, but they are etched into the ceramic so even though the canister was all white, you could still see the patterns beneath.

I covered the canister in scrapbook paper, knowing that it was going to be used for doggy treats it would probably never be run through the dishwasher. (I keep my dog treats in zip loc baggies to keep them from drying out...and keep the stink in). I added a few little buttons, and before I knew it, I had a masterpiece on my hands.

"Houndstooth" for my dog treats...get it?! :)

I still haven't been able to make the lid cute enough to match the bottom, so as of now this is an open-top treat jar. I will let you know if that changes later. As of right now? This is great enough for me (and Toby, and Boozer)!