Thursday, April 29, 2010

Other Crafty Things

Yesterday,  I went to go modify a pretty plain black dress I got from Wal-Mart for $3, but I tried it on and the top tried to pull the whole dress up a couple of inches. So I just cut the cool bottom off and now I have a new skirt!



I also decorated the cover of my Moleskin, because who wants to journal in a plain book?!

Thursday Tip

I found this recipe hack, or tip, yesterday from Dana made it, and its wonderful! 

Dana at Dana-Made-It

How to make a Cake Mix low-fat:
Take a normal cake mix and disregard the normal ingredients you're supposed to add (the oil, etc). Instead add the following to the cake mix:
* 1 3/4 cup water
* 2 Tbl flour
* 3 egg whites (I've also done 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg and found good results)

Mix all together and follow normal baking temperatures and cooking times on the box

Plans for my Crafty Stash

So, I am in the process of packing up for the summer and realized (once again) that I have WAY too much scrapbook stuff that isn't quite relevant to what I have pictures for. So, I plan on making cards for children with life-threatening illnesses with this charity. Hopefully I will have enough time to devote to it and I can use it as an study break over the next week!

I will post pictures soon :)

Update: Here is my favorite out of the 17 cards I made!

On the inside, I wrote: but not as sweet as you! 

I got rid of a lot of my stickers and extra envelopes, so it was so great! And its going to a great cause

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crockpot Recipe 1

I finally got my mom's smaller, 3 quart crockpot on Saturday when my dad drove through Columbia and made my first recipe! I tried the gingerbread latte recipe from this blog and it was FANTASTIC. I love lattes and I love gingerbread, so it was just a perfect fit. Even though it is the end of April, its never too early for gingerbread! It tasted just like the cookie- just enough ginger but not too much that it overwhelms the cinnamon and other spices.  I used ground allspice instead of ground cloves because I don't have any at the moment, and it was just as good as the cloves would be. Other than that and halving the recipe, I followed the simple instructions and had a delicious beverage 3 hours later!

T-shirt Surgery

As a college student, I realized that I have so many t-shirts from all sorts of random things and I don't ever wear t-shirts. So, I found a tutorial online and made one grey shirt into something new! Well, 2 new things! 

I used this tutorial and modified it a bit, because the loops made the necklace REALLY long on me.

And modified this tutorial. I used fabric glue and a little bit of thread to keep the ends together, because I knotted the ends because I don't have a sewing machine at school and improvised.

Which one do you like the best?

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I love to cook with fresh herbs. At our church hangout tonight, we went over to a couple's house who have a wonderful herb garden in the back. I was so excited because I brought home some fresh rosemary, lemon balm, oregano, and a little spearmint.

Does anyone know any good recipes for lemon balm?

Here is the HUGE rosemary plant!

Weekend Crafts

I had a lot of fun with my felt stash this weekend! Here is what I made:

Felt bows for hair clips and clothespins

I used this tutorial to make them and it was SO easy! I also made my own to imitate a bow that I have on a headband from Delia's, but in blue felt.

First: Cut two equal width strips of felt but one a little shorter than the other. You can always shorten, so make sure you over cut at first!

Second: Make each a loop and glue the ends together with fabric glue on the outside and on the inside.

Step 3: Use a dot of fabric glue to hold the 2 loops together.

Step 4: Cut a thinner step that will go around the middle and glue the ends together on the backside. Keep together with a clothespin so that the fabric glue can dry and bond the fabric together.

Then you're done! Admire your handiwork!

Also,  I made my own magnets out of recycled free magnets and pictures off of an ad postcard from Paulo's Gelato in Charleston.

I ended up using tacky glue (spray) instead because it was easier!

Spray the magnet, put your pictures on and let it dry according to the label. 

Cut it out! You're done!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crafty Day

Today was pretty busy already, and I am still working on a few crafts!

This morning, my dad stopped by on his way to Atlanta and we went to Cafe Strudel for breakfast. Oh my, it was everything I had hoped for and more. The food was delicious! We split a full stack of cinnamon pancakes with 2 scrambled eggs and bacon (which means I only had 1 pancake!) and I got some of the hash browns. Wasn't quite hungry enough to try their World Famous Hangover Hash browns, but that will be the next visit! Everything was delicious!

Are you hungry yet? The coffee was also delicious, and awesome that it was self-serve!

After eating my full and feeling full for most of the afternoon, I started on some craft projects (to be posted soon!)

Then, I went by Hobby Lobby to get some baking stuff for a hall event. All of the stickers were half off and I went a little crazy... but most of it was for prizes for my hall gathering (I'm a Resident Mentor... the same as a RA at other colleges) but I have some new scrapbooking supplies!

I will be posting my crafts soon with the tutorials I used. Stay tuned!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Foodie Friday

New section! 

I have come to love Fridays, because they are the day that I can go grocery shopping and walk to at least one gourmet food store in Columbia after my classes because I am done at 11am... for this semester. But nonetheless...

I went to the Gourmet Shop today in 5 Points. Quite possibly one of my favorite places on the planet. I bought myself a couple of croissants to pair with my leftover lemon curd and bought a cute little orange marmalade, mostly for the jar, but also in case I get bored with lemon curd soon.

I adore the Gourmet Shop... I feel like a foodie so much when I just go to browse. Their bakery, pastry, and cheese counters are to die for. And they have a bunch of cool kitchen stuff that I don't need at the moment, just lust after when I walk through!

Also,  I got some grocery shopping done at Food Lion, nothing special, just some Roma tomatoes and Italian bread for Bruschetta on Sunday afternoon.  I didn't have time to get cheese and basil because I wasn't going straight back to my room, but I will get those before lunch!

Also, I got an amazing package in the mail! I ♥ Macarons came in the mail from Wal-Mart! (It was cheaper to do that then go through Amazon and it came faster in the mail).

Its mostly a technique book, which is perfect because anyone can come up with delicious flavor combos, right? I am so excited! Now, I have to start compiling the tools I still need, like a scale. 

And the other food adventure for the day, I got a delicious veggie wrap from Cool Beans. Yum!

Oh, yesterday I got a recipe card in the mail from a swap for freezer strawberry jam. I am so excited for that as well!

I am in the middle of some crafty projects that I will be posting this weekend! 

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I haven't had the time to be crafty lately, but I have received some mail! I love being on Swap-Bot, an online community for mail lovers. I join swaps that I am interested in, send a package to another swapper and receive a package from someone else. I am truly addicted :)

So, this is the package I recieved for the Coloring Book swap!

And sneak peek:
I am going to do a post on my favorite things in my room soon! And, of course, my French Press tops the list (after my bed)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Frozen Yogurt Cravings

So, a friend and I went to this new frozen yogurt place in 5 Points in Columbia on Saturday, but I felt like it deserves its own post because it was THAT GOOD. I love frozen yogurt, especially fruit flavors, and this place definitely satisfied my sweet tooth.

There is my cup! They have huge bowls that could probably fit a pint of frozen yogurt, so I only added a little bit in the bottom and some fresh fruit to top it off. I had the most delicious kiwi yogurt and mango yogurt. The fresh fruit made it though. This yogurt will be inspiring me when I get home and can use my parents' 1quart ice cream machine. I am soooo ready for that! (1qt is the perfect size for experimenting with new flavors! not too much but enough to share!)

The frozen yogurt didn't even have much time to melt, but the soft-serve state definitely made it so that we had to chow down quickly. It was well worth the $3.82 for both (the Free Times has buy-one-get-one-free coupons!)

Another cool thing about this place, you pay by the ounce! So much fun! And, it ended up being pretty cheap as long as you pay attention to how much you are putting in your cup. They try to trick you into buying more with the larger cups, so beware! But... then again, you may enjoy the large portion of yogurt too much to stop eating it!

Overall, this will be a must-go place when people come to visit me for forever. Go get yourself some delicious frozen yogurt! And check out the website for some of their delicious daily flavors! And, there are 2 locations- in 5 Points and Two Notch Rd.

A new obsession has formed.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Apron giveaway

I am entering a giveaway for an apron at this wonderful blog:

Anyone who knows me knows I love aprons, so this is perfect for me! I hope i get it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend Recap

I had an extremely wonderful weekend. Let me share with you how it went

After getting out of class, I got to walk around Columbia and I stopped by Cloud Nine (an amazing little gourmet food shop and cafe) on Gervais Street.

I didn't find anything, but I have my eye on some fig preserves.  It may be on the list of recipes to try this summer! After that and the art supply store, I went to the public library. Goodness.. it may be my favorite place in Columbia. The cookbook section is HUGE! So I limited myself to The Frugal Foodie Cookbook and some other books.

Women's Brunch :) It was a wonderful time with some women from church, and I brought my lavender shortbread and lemon curd. Isn't it wonderful to have people to share good food with? After that, my friend and I went shopping for a lingerie shower. I love the way I wrapped the present. Sweet on the outside, not so much on the inside!

After shopping, I went by Cool Beans for dinner. And I am so glad I tried something new; I was deciding between my staple Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich and the Mediterranean Panini, and I chose the panini. It was delicious. Go get one! It's only $5, so therefore a steal!

Church and Kate's lingerie shower. So much fun! Kate and her fiance made apple cinnamon muffins earlier today and she served them. They were delicious with the caramel we used for the fruit dip. It was a wonderful and relaxing day!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I am dreaming of...

I really, really need to go here Charleston's new Macaron Boutique. I have been craving macarons ever since I saw this book, I love Macarons, show up on my Amazon home page. Yes, I browse entirely too much on Amazon because it always tries to get me to look at the baking section and the cookbooks. But I love getting those suggestions... it usually starts off a nice search for new books. And a love for macarons. So, I am going to try one before I attempt to recreate them. But I am looking forward to trying the delicious macaron flavor combinations that pop up on TasteSpotting almost daily. I will keep you posted!

Lemon Extravaganza

So, I already shared the picture of my lemons. I bought 10 and hand squeezed all of them last night (with this little wonderful tool from Wal-Mart- a hand squeezer that's super easy to use for $6-yes!)

All in all, I made lavender-lemon shortbread cookies, microwave lemon curd, and a little bit of homemade lemonade. Here are the recipes!

Lavender Lemon Shortbread 
(I didn't make it up, but a friend of my mom's gave it to me)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon edible dried lavender (McCormick sells it in their "gourmet" spice collection and its relatively inexpensive) and feel free to add more
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon extract. Add flour and salt; mix until smooth.  Mix in dried lavender. If dough feels sticky, add an additional 1/4 cup of flour. Dough should be soft but not sticky (It takes some hand mixing to incorporate the flour)
Chill 1-2 hours until firm.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thichness. Cut out shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  If the dough starts sticking to the rolling pin, put it back in the refrigerator to cool it again.

Bake 10-15 minutes until cookies are lightly browned around the edges.

The shortbread spreads out around the edges as it cooks- I didn't remember that from the first time I made these in January because I used a round biscuit cutter then and the spreading just made it a true circle. So I recommend circles for these cookies! And they need to be thick in order to hold up. But still delicious!

Microwave Lemon Curd
I saw this recipe on TasteSpotting from and it is DELICIOUS! She called it Lemon Sunshine for a reason! And, the best part is its super simple!

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 3 lemons, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the microwave, and pour into small sterile jars. Store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

Makes about 3 cups.

More pictures to come after I serve these at our church's women's brunch this morning!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A hint

I love lemons... and I bought some today at the grocery store.... a hint at what is to come this weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Love

How can you not love spring? Aside from the pollen... I love seeing the green and flowers blooming and just feeling like its a fresh start. Also, the cooler temperatures are definitely a plus before we hit the 90's for the summer. And today's grocery shopping day for me, so I'm super excited!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crafty Things: Stash Bust

In honor of Earth Day, a bunch of blogs are teaming together to do this event, April Stash Bust. I'm pretty excited because I am taking the pledge to not buy any new craft supplies that I don't need for April and get to focus on reducing the bins and bins of stuff I have- I know, I only have a college dorm room, but I have a lot of stuff saved! Its just cool to see a lot of people looking for other ways to reduce unnecessary waste and such besides using reusable bags at the grocery store!

Ice Cream Adventure

So I have had a hankering for homemade ice cream after I saw pretty posts popping up on Taste Spotting (aka the best food picture blog ever!) and it just so happens that my friend Melanie got her parents to lend us their ice cream maker for the rest of the semester.

So... we made vanilla ice cream! Just plain vanilla, which is plain deliciousness when it is homemade and fresh (soft-serve consistency!) We were just lazy and make Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies, but we did it right and got the Ultimate Chocolate Lover's one :) Here are the results!

Completely delicious, but leaving me wanting more. I also want to try this recipe for salted caramel ice cream. Or maybe just some fruit yogurt... anyone want to experiment with me? 

Monday, April 12, 2010

For now...

I am just excited about starting a new blog so I don't drive my friends and family crazy with all of my talk about crafty things I want to accomplish, things I want to bake, and places I want to go! I want to share it with everyone! So.. it is more of a creative outlet for me, but I will tell you more about me later!