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Friday, October 28, 2011

Spooky, Creepy, EASY and Just Plain Awesome Mani Ideas

In typical me fashion, I still have no idea what my costume will be this year. Baby Munchkin's covered, hubby's got a costume for a haunted house gig, even the pooches will be getting dressed up. But me? Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Zilch.

I considered the usual - zombie, ghost, mummy, taco, Lady Gaga, Marilyn Monroe, nudist ... now that would REALLY scare the kiddos ...

Nothing is clicking at the moment. I do, however, have some kick-ants mani ideas. I may end up in a paper bag on the 31st, but by golly my nails will be done!


Here's some super simple ways to spookify a basic mani. You could easily do this (or have someone else do it) with an unbent bobby pin and some patience!

Nail dotting tool - their version
and my version
The Dexter

Paint your nails a solid color (white or black works best). Use your bobby pin to add some blood droplets. Easy peasy!



The Casper

Paint your nails a solid color. Add two dots for eyes. This would be really fun with glow-in-the-dark paint!


The Tutankhamun

Paint your nails a solid color. Add some criss-crossing lines. Paint one of the sections black. Then add eyes in that space.


The Frankenstein

I found this idea on Pinterest. Paint your nails a solid color. Then cut strips of scotch tape into teeth-ish shapes and stick them on your nails. Paint the exposed portion a different color. I let my nail polish get tacky but not totally dry before I pulled it off.


The Scooby Doo

Paint your nails a solid color. Add two perpendicular lines on each nail for window panes. Then add some spooky eyes a la Scooby Doo.


Have fun this weekend!

Caiti


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Monday, October 24, 2011

The Edward Effect

Remember my new assortment of shiny rocks?


Well, I returned it.

It was too big and shiny and ... big. And did I mention expensive? Plus, I was petrified of losing it. I DO NOT need another thing to worry about, thank you very much.

I knew it was a bad idea when we got it, but I was blinded by the bling bling. It was so gorgeous under those 14,000 store lights. Zales could single-handedly keep an energy company in business.

That ring was so glittery and shiny and pretty that it disguised the 29% interest rate of the card we put it on. Stupid, stupid.

I call this phenomenon "The Edward Effect". Sparkly things are just more attractive, despite the fact that they are blood sucking, soulless monsters who want to KILL you.

So back to the store it went. My original wedding ring is currently getting repaired, so I'm enjoying wearing all-those pre-engagement rings that only fit on my left ring finger!

After returning the big, shiny, big, expensive assortment of shiny rocks, I got THIS:


Remember when I said I wanted a Canon Rebel? Well, I changed my mind. Surprised?

Nope.

It's a Nikon D5100. I settled on it after countless hours of pondering . This one's got the best reviews and features for a camera in its price range. I can't wait to add accessories and accessories and more accessories.

That is, of course, after I figure out how to work it :-)

I CAN'T WAIT TO TAKE SOME AMAZING PHOTOS WITH THIS BABY!!!

I am in lve.

Caiti


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Friday, October 21, 2011

♪ ♫ ♪ Ba-na-na-na-na-na, Ba-na-na-na-na-na ♪ ♫ ♪

Sing the title. It's more fun that way. Kind of like singing "you make me feel ... like a pony ...  like a pony ... like a pony" instead of just saying it ... or typing it. Oh well. Billy Idol is a weirdo. Look. it. up.

Munchkin is eating SOLID FOOD! What a grand adventure that is. So far, we have tried rice cereal and sweet potatoes and ba-na-na-na-na-nas. Next on the menu is peas. Yumm-o.

I have learned two important lessons. First of all:

DO NOT LOOK AWAY FROM YOUR BABY WHEN YOU ARE FEEDING HIM/HER. EVER.

Babies can go from adorable chubby bundles of happiness to weapons of mass destruction in 0.5 seconds. You look away, then back, then do a double take because your child has disappeared under a slimy mess of smushed bananas. Oops.

Second, DO NOT LET YOUR BABY GRAB THE SPOON BECAUSE YOU THINK IT'S CUTE. EVER.

Exhibit A: (me) Oohh, look! He's trying to feed himself! How cuutttee.
Exhibit B: (munchkin) *gigantic drooly grin*
Exhibit C: (sweet potatoes) LOOK AT MEEEE!! I'M FLLYYYINNNGGG!!! *splat*

So, yeah. Take it from me. This pretty much spells DOOM for anything in a 50 foot radius.

Unless you like the look of orange polka dots on your white curtains.

 Or you want to run to the bathroom screaming, "MY EYES! MY EYES!"

Or you want house guests to ask why there are orange boogers on your ceiling ("Wellll, we tried to microwave an oompa loompa last summer. Turns out they explode just like Peeps!")

♪ ♫ ♪ oompa, loompa, doo pah dee BOOM ...

Don't you love being a parent? : )

Caiti


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Random Facts of Kindness ... or not

Do you know what STAT means?

It is a medical term originating from the Latin word "statem", which means IMMEDIATELY.

It also stands for Sooner Than Already There ... which pretty much says it all.

Example: Get me some Ben & Jerry's STAT.
                               I need a hot water bottle for these stupid cramps STAT.
SOMEBODY BRING ME SOME CHOCOLATE ... STAT.

Can you tell I have a touch of PMS?


Unfortunately, hubby also has PMS. The male kind. Otherwise known as "piss & moan syndrome". You see, he doesn't feel good. And he wants a drink. And a sandwich. And the TV remote.

How 'bout this? I claw out your eyeballs, squeeze out the juice, and use the leftover pieces to make a sandwich.

Then you won't need the dang TV remote.


PMS is ug-lay.  Yes, indeed.

Caiti
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


When I first discovered this recipe on Design*Sponge, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. For some reason, these chocolate chip peanut butter cups just taste better than pre-packaged processed candy. They are DELICIOUS.

I made these for a going away party for one of the hubby's coworkers, so I refrained from Halloweening them.

Boo ya. New word invented.

But the chocolate cups would be SO CUTE with spider web designs on them. Or you could make the white chocolate ones into ghosts. Possibilities = endless.

The following is adapted from the original recipe (found here). It makes 12 cups.

Ingredients

2 packages chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate and vanilla chips, but any chocolate will do)
1 cup peanut butter (about 1/2 an 18 oz jar)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
1 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar (for dusting)




1. Get out your muffin pan. Dust it off. Pop in some paper (or aluminum) muffin liners.

2. Melt one package of chocolate chips. This is my cheapskate version of a double boiler:



It would probably give Martha Stewart a heart attack. But it seems to work pretty well.


You could also use a microwave, but I am an utter failure at melting chocolate this way. Possibly because I have no patience.

TIP: When melting white or vanilla chocolate chips, the chocolate often "seizes", meaning it melts and then gets all grainy and hard again. If this happens, turn down the heat, add about a tablespoon of shortening, and mix it in as it melts. Voila!

3. Coat the muffin liners with chocolate. The easiest way to do this is to put a big glob in the bottom and then use the back of a spoon to coat the sides. Once that's finished, you can put more chocolate on the bottom if needed. Beware, this step is messy! You will probably get chocolate on your fingers.

Oh darny shucks.

Whatever will you do?



4. Put the chocolate shells in the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes.

5. In the mean time, make the filling. I usually use my food processor. I grind up graham crackers in it first, then add all the other ingredients. You could also use a stand mixer, a hand mixer or a good old-fashioned wooden spoon.

6. Next, split the peanut butter mixture into 12 equal portions. Get out a cutting board (preferably not the one you use for raw chicken :-). Throw down some white stuff. Not that white stuff. Dump your peanut butter mixture on top. Sprinkle it with more powdered sugar. Then gently pat it out into a rectangle. Use as much powdered sugar as necessary to keep it from sticking to you/the counter/your face. Cut it into 12 portions and roll each one between your hands to form circle-ish shapes.




THE CHEATER'S WAY: If you're not slightly OCD like me, you can simply add a bit more powdered sugar to the mix and spoon it into each chocolate shell. Which leads us to step number seven.

7. Get your chocolate shells out of the fridge/freezer. Place a peanut butter ball/spoonful in each one. Pat it down with your fingers. You may need more powdered sugar. Just don't wipe your nose with powdered sugar covered fingers and then go to the grocery store. People will look at you funny.


8. Melt the other bag of chocolate in your double boiler/microwave. Spoon a nice big dollop onto each cup and spread it around. Put it back in the fridge/freezer and let the chocolate set. It takes about 30 minutes in a freezer and an hour in the fridge.


9. Once the chocolate is hardened, decorate them! I used leftover melted chocolate to drizzle the tops. As you can plainly see, I'm not too skilled at this. But they still taste good!



10. Enjoy!
Caiti
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Friday, October 14, 2011

T is for Typography



I love typography. Maybe it's because my family has been in the newspaper business since before I was born. Maybe it's because I'm nerdy. Maybe it's because my mom is a writer. I don't know.

But something about those lovely letters makes my heart beat a little faster. When I was young(er) and dumb(er), I bought and downloaded 10,000 fonts onto my computer. It made the poor machine about as fast as mole-asses. But I was a happy camper!

Here's a few of my favorite FREE font sources (found on Pinterest):

This one is fairly new to me, but they have a UGE (British accent) selection.
http://www.dafont.com/

There's also this one:
http://1001freefonts.com/

And this one. I must confess I like it mostly because it has "squirrel" in the name. Who doesn't love squirrels (besides Hershey)?
http://www.fontsquirrel.com/

When I attempted (and miserably failed) NaNoWriMo a few years back, I used a different font every day. It was probably all in my head, but it seemed like it really helped me think outside the box. Does this work for anyone else?


There is also a fabulous flickr pool with thousands upon thousands of pictures of letters. I learned about it on Pinterest, too. Is anyone surprised? Of course not.


Photos to the right from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/collections/72157594587080023/

Here are some fantastic typographic accessories. Feast your eyeballs!

oui ring ~ available on etsy 
(this would be a kick ants non-traditional engagement ring)

letter scarf

book page necklace

AND finally whilst writing this blog post, I found this site:


It has 1600+ pages of pictures of letters. Yay! I always love getting confirmation I am not the only weirdy on the planet :)

What's your favorite font? Mine is Courier or Courier New.

Caiti
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

S is for Shiny Sink!

About a month ago I started doing Flylady's baby steps. It's going okay. The first baby step is keeping your sink super shiny (or "shuper shiny" as I like to say over and over. Try it, it's fun ... if you're easily amused. Which I am. :-).

The house we're in currently doesn't have a dishwasher (NOOOOOOO). I have contemplated selling a kidney on the black market so we could get one. But alas, I have no creepy, shady friends with connections to the black market. Only semi-creepy ones.

Perhaps eBay, then.

To make it even worse, I don't have a window over my sink (NOOOOOOO). I have a blank white wall. How un-inspiring. I put up a few pictures when we moved in, but we've been here almost a year and they are getting kinda old seeing as I look at them every day (or not ... how 'bout at least once a week?).

before
I decided I needed something that would stay fresh and interesting to please those multiple personalities we talked about.

Sooo, I came up with a shimple idea. It is shuper easy. I promise.

Materials:
for a pretty pinboard
for a fun photo clothesline
The first thing I did was dress up a piece of cork with some fabric that matches the rest of my kitchen. Pretty straightfoward. Glue ze fabric to ze pinboard. The end. Despite the nth power easiness, I took pictures anyway.




not sure why this one is randomly yellow
ta dah!
Now for the fun photo clothesline. This is also incredibly easy. Yay!

Ya see what I did dere? Thumbtacks (got these on sale at Wal-Mart for $1.50) + yarn = ta dah! An added bonus will be covering up that less than stellar outlet!

Put it all together and you get ... THIS! Easily changeable and a great place for inspiration.


I especially lurve the tiny baby clothespins (purchased at Wal-Mart for $2.99ish). Are those not the cutest things ever? (besides Baby Munchkin, of course :)


I placed a cute tea cup (found at a yard sale) next to the sink to hold the clothespins and thumbtacks.


When I stepped back to look at it, I liked it, but I realized I still had to look at the bottom of the overhead cabinet (ick). So I tacked up some Christmas lights and some sheer fabric and ...


Ta-dah! Oops, already used that one. How 'bout VOILA! There we go. This picture is (obviously) taken with the lights off. It doesn't look quite as cool with the overheads on, but it's infinitely better than staring at stained particle board. Plus, it is completely undoable, which is especially good for us renters.

I lurve it. It is (almost) as shiny as my shuper shiny sink!

Mini clothespins (and shiny things) rock!

Caiti
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Monday, October 10, 2011

K.I.S.S.

I love craft blogs. I could sit around all day and take in the fantabulous eye candy. It is truly amazing.

When it comes to creating for myself, however, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. I don't have a limitless budget. I don't even have two pennies to rub together for craft supplies. I don't have a room with shelves upon shelves of stuff. I don't have a sewing machine. And I sure as heck don't have a band saw. Really? A band saw? I thought crafting was supposed to be simple.

So my new promise to myself is to craft by the K.I.S.S. principle. I promise to keep it simple, stupid (me stupid, not you stupid :).

If my projects elicit a "duh", so be it. I may not be super-amazing, but at least I'm having fun!

Caiti
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Holy Cannoli ... YOU ARE MY SEESTER!

Yeahhh, I borrowed that little bit o' genius from the Master of Disguise. What can I say? My brain feels like pig slop.

It has been quite a longgg time since I've posted. A WHOLE MONTH, technically, since the last time I distributed little nuggets of amazingness was September 30.

So, what's up, my peeps? How's life? Mine is completely insane. But man, oh man am I EXCITED for some of the posts I have planned for October. Autumn (my favoritest season ever) has arrived and I am filled to bursting with decorating ideas. Okay, I have three. But in a pig slop brain like mine, that's pretty much full capacity, people.

How sad.

Anyhoo, sorry for the lack of posts. I can't guarantee it will get any better, but I'm going to try my best! I really do love blogging. If it was okay to eat off dirty plates, never shower and stay in my p.j's 99.9% of the time, I would write and craft all day long. But then I would be classified as a bum.

So that's out.

At least for now.

Happy October (five-ish days late)!

Caiti
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