Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Make Your Own Ugly-Face-Disease Cure for $5!

OK friends! Here is a great deal for you!  If you suffer from Ugly Face Disease and you want to try the castor oil/olive oil remedy I posted earlier, this is your chance to purchase the supplies for about $5 shipped. 

When you sign up for VitaCost through my referral link, they will email you a $10 source code which can be used to pay for anything on their site! 

Here are the links to the items you will need to make the UFD cure:
-DaVinci Extra Virgin Olive Oil 8.5oz (070670011101)
-Heritage Castor Oil 8oz (076970221097)
-Humphrey's Homeopathic Witch Hazel 2oz (302190305201)

Your total will be $9.35.  Add your unique source code from the email they will send you at sign up and drop your total to $0!  The box for the source code will appear at the top left side of your cart screen. Shipping is a flat $4.99 and in my experience it is super speedy! 

Of course, you can choose your own supplies, but I chose these because the total will be less than $10.  They do have other varieties of oil and larger bottles of Witch Hazel

And keep in mind you can use your $10 code on anything.  They have tons of items.  I order Miss P's Earth's Best Organic Apple Sauce from VitaCost.  You could get any variety of things and only pay shipping!  I love shopping from my couch!

Here's to pretty faces!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Five Years Feels Like Five Minutes

Jake and I decided to take a picture of us holding our wedding photo (almost) on our fifth wedding anniversary...because we saw it on Pinterest.

Jake and I were married five years ago this July.  But it really feels more like five minutes!

I think its because we have so many adventures. Already, we have lived in three different states (and four different cities). We've traveled the Caribbean, bought houses, had a baby, rescued a dog, run for office... 

You know, typical married people stuff.

And I like him.  Really like him.

Love only gets you so far, you know.   'Like' fills in the gaps :)

Anyway, we had a little family photo shoot recently with a very talented photographer.  You may have heard of her (she is sort of a big deal).  The Good Girl from over at Good Girls Inc!  (How lucky am I to have such a talented and witty bestie?)

We decided to recreate the pin where the couple is holding a picture of themselves holding a picture of themselves on their anniversary.  The pictures were taken at equal intervals.  We decided to do this every five years on our anniversary.

This is the original photo from our wedding:

Now that is one well dressed, clueless couple!

And here we are five years later:

Still smiling!

And they lived Happily Ever After...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beautiful Tomato Cage Christmas Trees!

So Jake decided to make tomato cage Christmas trees...because he saw it on Pinterest!

"Holiday Design Tip – Alternative Christmas Trees!"-Original pin by New England Design and Construction

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  It's the hap-happiest season of all!  Eeeeee!!!

OK so this was supposed to be a guest post by my boy, but he would rather make the trees than write about them. 

Jake is really into Christmas.

As in he may be the illegitimate son of Clark Griswold.

"This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f-ing Kaye."

Love Christmas Vacation! LOVE IT!

OK, so back to the tomato cage Christmas trees.

Jake thought these would be easy to make and very inexpensive.  He was totally right!

The tomato cages were only $1.30 each! And we had a few strands of 100 bulb colored lights in the attic so we decided to bring back the 80's!

Why did colored lights go out of fashion?  They're so festive!

If you're a perfectionist like Jake, the first step would be to paint your tomato cage the color of your light cord.  So green in our case.

Let's talk about how this picture is all wrong in every way.

First of all, its upside down. But I cannot for the life of me convince my computer or any editing software to turn it counterclockwise.  I give up.

Secondly, no he did not spray paint anything on our driveway!  This was totally staged.

Moving on.

OK after the paint dried, he zip-tied the loose ends together.  This will be the top of the tree.

Now, the only thing left to do is wrap the lights around the 'cone' and find a place to display them proudly!

They started out in the flower bed...

And ended up on the porch!

They are festive, aren't they?

And all for less than $4!!  Score!

Jake gives this project a thumbs up.  He doesn't do 'grades'.

It was easy, it was cheap, and it's super cute (definitely my words, not his!). 

He says 'hello'.  He's up on the roof, stapling down the chaser lights.  Clark would be so proud!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake!

So I decided to make a Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake...and put it on Pinterest.

I made this cake over Thanksgiving and I wanted to share the recipe with everyone because it is truly de-licious!!  

I mean...the word 'chocolate' appears in the name twice so you know it has to be good!

So here you go:

1-box yellow cake mix
2-small boxes chocolate Jello instant pudding (3.5oz)
1/2-cup oil
8-oz sour cream
1-cup water
as many chocolate chips as you want!

All you do is add the pudding mix to the cake mix and whisk together (now y'all know I am lazy and I did not do that step). Then add the eggs, oil, water, & sour cream and blend with a mixer for about a minute.  Now, it is really thick.  That's because of all the yummy goodness.  Just be strong and tell your mixer to power through. 

When it's all blended, add your chocolate chips (I use half a bag of Nestle milk chocolate) and stir in with a spoon.  

Now, Ina would tell me to roll my chocolate chips in flour first so that they don't sink to the bottom of the cake.  And I would tell her that she needs to stop popping her collar.  Who does she think she is? A thirteen year old boy?

No worries.  This cake batter is so thick, the chocolate chips couldn't sink if they tried!

I usually make this cake in a Bundt pan, but I wanted to do something different for Thanksgiving.  I made it in two 8" round pans instead.  If you use a Bundt pan, bake for about an hour at 325.  If you use layering pans, bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  You'll know they're done when you can stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean.  And don't forget to grease the pans really well.

Now, I think the hardest part of making this cake is deciding whether or not to frost it :)

Doesn't that look amazing?

It is.

Make yourself one and you will see!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'll Have a Glass of Pinot with My Christmas Ornament Wreath, Thank You

So I decided to make a Christmas ornament wreath...because I saw it on Pinterest.

"No Wire Hangers! (Well Maybe Just One)"-Original pin from Eddie Ross

Wow...isn't that wreath amazing?  I love it so much, I'm thinking about getting it printed life-size and taping it to my door.  Because after the last 24 hours, I am convinced that is the only way I will ever have a beautiful ornament wreath out there!  And I'm sure as heck not trying to make another one!

Here we go.

I have been dying to make this wreath in red and gold for Christmas.  But I am allergic to paying full price, so I was waiting for the ornaments to go on sale at Hobby Lobby.  Well, they were finally 50% off this week but most of the colors were sold out.  I got the last tube of red.  The only other color left was brown.  Surely there MUST be some gold somewhere.  Right?

So I'm looking around the store for some flipping gold ornaments.  And the whole time I'm thinking, "Where da gold at?  I want the gold!"

Now, if you're from Mobile, AL you are probably laughing out loud right now.  Maybe even holding your sides you're laughing so hard.  If you're not from Mobile, you're probably wondering what the heck I'm talking about. 

And there you go.

Sadly, I never did find da gold.

This project got off to a bad start.   Maybe you'll have better luck.  This is what you'll need if you decide to make your own wreath.

The burlap is just for fun.  I foolishly thought I could make a pretty burlap bow with which to hang my wreath.  But, as it turns out, burlap is not really into making bows out of itself.  Nope.  Not at all.  It is, however, into making your nose twitch and your skin itch.  Yep, it sure is.

Anyway, start by bending a wire clothes hanger into a circle.  Easy.  Then untwist the neck so you can thread the balls on.

I swear, every time I would move a glue stick out of the shot, Miss P would throw two more in.  And I had the WORST case of Dead Arm Disease in the history of America from carrying her sweet sleeping self all over Hobby Lobby for an hour!  Me and my one good arm finally just gave up.  So there.  Glue sticks in the shot.

Lack of perfection is probably a good theme for this post anyway.

I read all of the directions on Eddie Ross's site.  I really did. I just thought it was kind of silly to go to the trouble of removing the tops of the ornaments just so I could hot glue them back on.  Especially since only one of my arms was working properly.

Lazy is a really tough hurdle to clear isn't it?

So I didn't hot glue the tops.

Things were going so well.  I was just sliding those balls on so fast with my one good arm.  And everything was fine until I tried to twist the hanger back together.  That sad little worn out arm just couldn't hold it.  There's a lot of tension in the wire after adding all those balls.

The wreath flew out of my hands and across the table.

I think I sat in the chair with my mouth hanging open for a good minute.  Just thinking.  About not being lazy, mostly.  Because when the wreath landed across the table, nearly half of the balls detached from their tops.  Yeppers.  Sure did.

Nothing like 25ish ornaments bouncing around your dining room at midnight.

Hello, old friend.

Sipping and thinking...

What's that old saying?  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

So I took every last ornament off the hanger and took off every last top.  I glued the flipping tops down and put them all back on the dang hanger.

This guy was taunting me, I swear.  Can you tell?

A little while later...I finally got all the balls back on the hanger.

This time I really focused on not letting go of the wreath while twisting the hanger back together.   Great success on the second attempt!

And here is the finished product:

Ok, it's not that bad.  But does it look like Mr. Ross's wreath?  Not. At. All.

Let's talk about why this might be.  For starters, all my balls are the same size which made little open spaces (smaller balls mixed in would have been a nice touch).  Secondly, there's no glamorous burlap (or satin I guess) bow.  And I only have one color going on (thank you Hobby Lobby).  These are all fatal flaws.

When I finished this monster in the wee hours of the morning, all I could think was, "I'd rather have my $10 back." 

I give myself an L for Lazy on this one.  If I'd just followed the instructions exactly (various sizes of ornaments, glue the dang tops on, make a satin bow), I know I would have ended up with a fabulous wreath.

Instead I am missing three hours beauty sleep and $10 from my wallet!

Lesson learned.

At least until the next project.

Happy crafting, friends!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vampires Are Probably Really Annoyed By Scarves...

So I decided to make a t-shirt scarf...because I saw it on Pinterest.

"How to make a frilly scarf from a t-shirt":Original pin from The Pink Peony of Le Jardin.

Unless you live under a rock, you are probably aware that this was opening weekend for Breaking Dawn.  Oh, how I have counted the days until I could see it on the big screen!  I actually just got back from the theater and I LOVED IT!  LOVED IT.

I really wanted to wear something cute to the show.  I feel like I don't get out much these days so going to a movie with my bestie is sort of a big deal.  I saw this amazing t-shirt scarf and thought it would be perfect.  And ironic, right?  Because I'm covering up my neck to go see a vampire movie... I bet vampires get super annoyed by scarves.  

Anyway, I noticed a serious lack of green in my wardrobe so I chose a t-shirt that was an amazing shade of green.  Not grass green or lime green but somewhere in between. I will call it chartreuse! I got it at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon.  They are only $3.50 regular price so less than $2 after coupon.  You can print one of your own here.  (Some weeks they don't have the 40% off coupon.  It changes every Monday.)  Or you could always recycle an old t-shirt you already have as long as it's big enough.

All right, so gather a t-shirt (in a size XL or larger), scissors, and fabric glue or hem tape (and an iron if you use this option).  And you all know what happened to my fabric glue, right? 

This scarf ruffles because you cut out circles and then cut them into curls.  So you'll need a guide for cutting your circles. You can trace them out using a paper plate.  I ended up just cutting them out freehand (but making sure they were at least as large as the plate).  

I I really too lazy to trace my circles?  


The original post recommends a 9in plate but mine was more like 11in.  The larger your circle, the longer your scarf will be.  Just make sure you have enough shirt to accommodate your plate as you will need at least 10 circles to make this look nice.  

First you need to cut off the hem like so:

I didn't toss it.  I ended up using a piece of it to tie all the layers together.  But it's up to you. (Pinterest has made me wary of throwing anything away.  How about you?)

Next, I cut under the arms of the shirt and set the top part aside. 

The original post doesn't use this top part but I wanted a really full scarf so I found a way to incorporate it at the end.

The shirt was now essentially a tube.  I stretched it really good and then I cut it up the side seam and made it one long piece of fabric. 

Which made me could really do this with just about any fabric you have!  Like maybe you have, say...9 yards of knit left over from making your child a Halloween costume.  You could totally use that!

I was able to get 6 circles out of this piece of the shirt. I used the plate to measure off the width I needed for each piece I was going to cut.  Like this:

But like I said, I was too lazy to trace the circles so I just cut this piece of fabric in half.  That gave me two squares.  Then I cut each of the four corners off to make it sorta like a circle.  Lazy.  I know.  But it totally worked!  

Then I started on the side and cut about two inches in and around the circle.  Like in a curly-q fashion.  Can you tell?

When I made it all the way to the center, I held it up and was so excited to see that I'd made a ruffle!  I ran my hand down the ruffle to stretch it a little and make it curl.

After I cut all the circles out of the main part of the shirt, I tried to figure out how to use the top portion of the shirt.  I cut the sleeves off at the seams.  

Then I rounded the edges and cut in a curly-q fashion.  The sleeve didn't make a circle but the fabric will ruffle as long as you cut in a circular motion.  These ruffles are shorter, obviously, but I attached them to the longest ruffles.  You'll see.

Then I cut the neck seam off the top of the shirt and did the same thing-rounded the edges and cut in a circular fashion. 

I was able to get two more circles out of each side of the top part of the neck, so 4 total.  That gave me 12 ruffles in all (6 from the body, 2 from the sleeves, 4 from the top). They were various sizes depending on where I cut them from.  The next step involved piecing the ruffles together in pairs so I made sure to pair shorter ruffles with longer ones.  

I cut a small piece of fabric tape and affixed it to the end of a ruffle by pressing the iron (on the highest dry setting) to the tape for 8 seconds.  Remove the backing, place another ruffle on top of the tape and press it for 8 more seconds.

This is a super important point to make.  Put the fabric tape on the end of the ruffle that is the loosest (the part that was the outside of the circle).  The ruffle gets tighter as you cut into the circle and that is the prettiest part so don't hide it!

After I got all the ruffles paired up, I used a piece of the neck seam that I removed in the beginning to tie the bundle together around the middle.  

I don't have a fancy dress stand to model my creation on.  I did take a picture of myself wearing it under a poster for Breaking Dawn at the theater, but I'm seriously grinning like a deranged vampire-obsessed I'm not posting it.  This one will have to do:

What do you think?

I freaking adore this scarf!  I love everything about it.  I love that it is unique. I love the color!  I. Love. It.  LOVE!

I totally give this project an A+!  It was cheap (could even be free), only took an hour or so, and it turned out AMAZING!  So go make yourself one.  You can do it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

You Want Me To Put WHAT On My Face?

So I decided to clean my face with oil...because I saw it on Pinterest.
"The Oil-Cleansing Method"-Original pin from Simple Mom.

I have Ugly Face Disease.  It's true.  And I've had it for a really long time...  

Luckily, I'm able to keep this fact a secret and blend in with the rest of the world thanks to Estée Lauder and her magic face paint (also known as Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation). 
Thirty-five dollars and worth every penny!  Thank you Estée!

Anyway, I'm having a really bad case of ugly-face right now and I'm pretty desperate for it to go away.  I can't figure out why my skin is betraying me so badly at this age.  I mean, I thought I'd be past this by now.   Sigh...

So when I saw this pin about cleansing your skin with oil...I thought, "That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard!" But then I read the original post.  And it actually made sense.  

In chemistry, there is a principle regarding polarity.  Basically it boils down to 'like-dissolves-like' oil dissolves oil.  I actually have a minor in chemistry so I can't argue the logic.  And I really don't have anything to lose at this point.  

Except my marriage!  (Husbands are not fans of Ugly Face Disease, though they are too polite to mention it.)

So lets get that oil on my face

Here's what I'm working with:

Now, Simple Mom doesn't mention anything about Witch Hazel.  But she also doesn't mention that she has Ugly Face Disease so I'm just going to use this as an added precaution. 

This is my official before picture. Cannot believe I'm doing this...

And there you have it...Ugly Face Disease.  


Let's get started.

Simple Mom advises that you should use 1 part EVOO to 3 parts Castor Oil if you have acne prone skin (aka UFD).  That means 1 teaspoon EVOO for every 3 teaspoons Castor Oil.  Easy peasy.  

Except I don't have a container worth using yet. (I mean, those amazing glass jars from the pin are so artistic!  Shame on me for not having some of those lying around.) 

So I just put a few drops of Castor Oil and a few less drops of EVOO in my palm and mixed them together.  (That's lazy-speak for a 3:1 ratio.)  And while I was doing this I had the hot water running in my sink to get a wash cloth really warm.  

Then I did what I can't believe I did... I totally rubbed this stuff all over my face.

Yep.  Oil.  On my face.

I worked it in (gently) for a minute and then I took the wash cloth from the warm water and laid it on top of my face.  

What?  You want to see a picture of that too? OK!


I left the towel on for about a minute and then I used it to gently wipe the oil away.  I didn't remove my makeup before starting this little experiment (that would defeat the purpose!) and I was really happy to see that all my makeup came off.  Easily too!  Fab!

My skin felt clean.  And soft.  Wow.  Wasn't expecting that!  

So what's this about Witch Hazel?  

If you aren't familiar with Witch Hazel, it's a really great natural astringent.  It shrinks blood vessels back to their normal size to reduce redness, it decreases oiliness, and it is a natural skin protectant.  

I need all of that. 

So after I wiped the oil from my face, I put some Witch Hazel on a cotton ball and swiped it all over.  

And I'm sitting here, three and a half hours after doing this, and my face still feels amazing!  It isn't oily like it would normally be this long after cleansing (probably due to the Witch Hazel).  It's super soft (definitely due to the oil).  And it just feels good

I can't grade this one yet because I need to give it a while before I can know if it is actually working.  But what do you think?  

Would you rub oil all over your face in the name of curing UFD?  

Let me know and look for an update in a few weeks!

Update: I'm 6 days in and I don't see myself going back!  I love this.  My skin feels great.  No new breakouts (yet).  I even found a cute bottle to store my oil mixture in.  See?  

I'm working on getting some info up about how you can get all the supplies you need for this for free.  Check back later in the week if you're interested!

Here's the info on purchasing your UFD cure supplies for less than $5 shipped!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cutesy Envelopes

So I decided to make some cutesy envelopes...because I saw it on Pinterest.

"Tutorial: Easy Tiny Envelopes"-Original pin from Poppytalk.
(Which is actually a guest post by Ruth Bleakley of

Getting the mail is usually the highlight of my morning.  I do a lot of on-line shopping and I'm almost certain the mailman hates me.  He is actually the second mailman we've had this year.  The other one retired (and I'm almost certain that was because of me, too).  But hey, USPS is going through some rough times.  I like to think I'm providing job security for this endangered American Institution!  Right?

Here's my mail from one day earlier this month...

Anyway, without disclosing my true age (a lady never tells), I will say that I'm no longer in the stage of life where wedding invitations (the pinnacle of all mail varieties) are common inhabitants of my mailbox.  Luckily, there have been an abundance of baby announcements to take their place.  In my opinion, nothing compares to a piece of mail intended for you, personally.  A birthday card, an invitation, a letter...someone taking time to write a note just for you.  So much better than an email or text.  

And you know what's even better?  A pretty envelope.  

When I saw these cute little envelopes on Pinterest, I immediately decided to make some.  The beauty of this project is that its completely free and you can use any form of paper you happen to have around the house. Really the possibilities are endless-think newspaper, magazines, old books, etc!  (This is incredibly exciting for me because I subscribe to Martha Stewart Living and every page is perfeciton!)

I decided to use scrapbook paper for my envelopes.

I am a scrapbook paper hoarder connoisseur.  All my pages are carefully sorted by theme in a special bin with wheels that lives in the guest room closet.  Actually, the hardest part of this project was deciding which papers to choose for this post.  I decided on some cheery prints from my Spring stack.   See?  Cheery :)

All you need for this project is an envelope you like the size and shape of, a bowl of warm water, scissors, a thin piece of cardboard (I used a piece of cereal box), cute paper, and some glue (or double sided tape).

Just soak the envelope in a bowl of warm water for about 3 minutes or until the glue loosens enough for you to undo the envelope. 

Lay the undone envelope out to dry for about a half hour.  I am lazy and impatient so I pressed the water out of my envelope with a paper towel so I wouldn't have to wait that long.

Trace the envelope onto the piece of cardboard, then cut out the shape.  

I'm actually couch-blogging at the moment.  I'm super sick.  And it just occurred to me that I could have skipped this step entirely (lazy me can't believe sick me didn't think of this before now) and used the envelope itself as a template.  Yes, its thin, but it would have totally worked.

Now you have a template for tracing your envelope onto any paper you choose.  I labeled the top and bottom to help my antibiotic-drugged mind not bugger this up.

Trace the template onto the back side of your paper and cut it out.  Then just fold and seal the edges.  

I used Elmer's glue sticks (they go on purple but dry clear) because I have a whole six pack that needs to be used up before Jake gets tired of looking at them and they disappear!  Much like my bobby pins and ponytail holders tend to... Anyway, if you're not planning to use your envelopes right away, use permanent tape.  Glue stick stick-ability isn't that great long term.

Aren't they darling?

I would be thrilled to open my mailbox and find one of these little envelopes in there!  It really doesn't take much to make someone feel special.  I know a sweet note would make my heart happy!  

I think I will send The Good Girl over at GoodGirlsInc a little note to let her know how much her blog makes me smile.  Especially since she added the Breaking Dawn countdown widget... 

My name is Cassie and I love Twilight.

So overall, I give this project an A+!  Its super easy, free, and you can make any kind of envelope you want!  Think about the possibilities:  sweet little lunchbox-note envelopes, seed envelopes, invitation could even make paying your bills less dreadful with a cheery envelope!

And you may never have to buy envelopes again!

Go make an envelope and someone's day.  Happy crafting, friends!