Friday, March 27, 2015

Making things Spring-y!

Sometimes, you just never find what you are looking for so you have to just make it yourself.  That's what I did today and I am loving all of it!
I have a plant that needs a new pot and I would like to take it to work.  No matter how hard I looked, I just couldn't find a planter that I liked.  So I decided to make my own.  I got this planter at the Dollar Tree, not because of how it looked but because I knew I could make it look how I wanted it to.
I painted it with 4 coats of a light pink acrylic paint called "Peony".  Love the color and the name! 
I wanted to put sweet little flowers on it and thought of several different ways.  I ultimately decided to print the flowers on clear labels and then cut them out and stick them on the planter.
Look how cute my little planter turned out!  It is exactly how I wanted it to look and it was so easy as well.   
 I painted another one in my other favorite color "Cloudless" and added a French graphic to it.  This one still needs something more, but I am sure I will think of something soon. 
And while I had the pink paint out, I decided to make myself a new pen holder for my desk.  This jar is also from the Dollar Tree and is smooth all the way around.  I painted it, added some shabby white flowers around the mouth and tied a bow using vintage seam binding.  It looks so pretty on my desk.
While I was printing things, I decided to make some cute little stickers to put on my new KitchenAid mixer.  I don't know if this kind of design could be done on vinyl, but it would probably last longer than this method.  I printed them and cut them out. 
When I got home, I cleaned and dried my mixer and stuck the stickers on.   
 I love the way it makes my mixer look.  These won't last long but while they do, my mixer will look adorable!
I wanted an aqua mixer but wasn't about to spend $100+ extra just for a color.  The white one works just fine and now I can change up the decorations whenever I want to.  That sounds like a good deal to me! 
Now that my mixer is looking so cute, I better get in the kitchen and get another batch of creme brulee going.  Since I made it on Valentine's Day, Cody has requested on a very regular basis.  He even went and bought me a butane torch.  I have to say, caramelizing the sugar that way makes it taste even better.  And I think making it in my newly decorated mixer will make it even better still!

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Friday, March 20, 2015

New Office Makeover and Tour

We did a little rearranging at work recently.  Since our boss is moving on to a fabulous new job at the botanical gardens, we thought we would move around ourselves.  Yesterday and today, I spent time moving my office back and giving this space a nice and easy yet much needed makeover.  
Please don't mind the cords, they will be tucked away on Monday, but I couldn't wait to show you my new office.  This is the view from the doorway.  It is not a completely closed in office, I have pony wall in front of me where I can see into the entryway.  The window you see here looks into the hallway and is across the hall from my craft closet. 
 I had a lot of fun decorating this space. A lot of the stuff I already had and some of it is new.  I wanted to make this space feel homey and beautiful at the same time.  Of course having some of my favorite pictures hanging on the wall is the best way to go!
This wall has my creations on it.  The cone wreath on top and Paris banner down below were made years ago and have followed me.  The framed paper flowers in the middle I just made yesterday after seeing something very similar at Target this week. This is my take on it and the only thing I had to buy was the frame for $1.50 at the thrift store!
A closer look at my Paris banner.  All of these components were found at work so it didn't cost me a thing...the coffee filter flowers are my favorite part of this! 
I had to pick something up at Rite Aid this week and browsed the gardening section while there.  They had these super cute white birdcages in 3 different sizes.  They also happened to be 50% off!  I picked up the smallest one and paid $5 for it.  I should go get all three sizes.  I wanted to make a light out of it so I put some white lights in it and added some flowers to it.  I want to hang it from the ceiling but I am not tall enough to do that but I will find someone tall enough to hang it soon!   I also took apart some of the silk roses and layered the petals on the lights.  I used to do this in college in my dorm room and it always looked so romantic and pretty.
 I have this pretty metal aqua container that I have placed some flowers in.  It helps hide the plug in.
I got this rug from Kohl's, using Kohl's cash that I earned.  It is at the foot of my desk. 
I also got this memo board from Kohl's.  I love the Eiffel Tower in the corner and the twine bows.  It is the perfect spot to hold special mementos. 
Cody painted this file cabinet for me awhile ago.  The colors aren't quite what I had in mind, but it is way better than the mustard gold color it used to be! 
And I still have this big spot on the wall left to decorate.  One lonely little mirror is all I have hanging right now.  Yard sales and thrift stores, I hope you have something fabulous for me to hang here! 
This is the view I get to see out my window.  Spring is definitely here and the trees are starting to blossom.  This window opens and lets in a nice breeze.  I can hear students chatting, birds chirping, dogs barking and life going on all around me.  I am so happy to be in this office! 
I hope you enjoyed the tour of my new office.  I will be sure to show you any of the other fun stuff I get done to it, but now I better get to work!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pies in a jar-Coconut Cream & Lemon Meringue

Sometimes when I see something on Pinterest or elsewhere, I just have to give it a try for myself.  These pies in a jar are just too cute and when I was asked to make the dessert for my dad's Birthday party this weekend, I knew exactly what I would make.  
My dad's favorite pie is Coconut Cream so I knew I would make that kind for sure.  And I love lemon meringue, especially this time of year, so I knew that would be the second one I made.  These are super easy to make but take a little extra time since you have to put everything into individual jars.   
I used Jello pudding mixes for both of these pies.  A small box of instant pudding for the coconut one was the perfect amount for 6 jars.  I whipped my own whipped cream, followed the pudding pie recipe on the side of the box and added half of the whipped cream and some coconut to the pudding.  I toasted coconut in the oven and sprinkled it on top of the pudding and whipped topping.  The crust for both pies is a graham cracker crust. 
For the lemon pie, I used the cook and serve lemon pudding in the large box.  The recipe on the side of the box works perfectly and once it starts cooking, it thickens up very quickly.  The egg whites that you don't use in the pudding mix will be used for the meringue.  The recipe for that is also on the box of pudding.   
Of course I had to dress them up a little bit by tying a piece of twine around the jars.  It works perfectly to hold a fork making these the perfect portable snack.  I have all sorts of ideas for these pies in a jar, especially once camping season rolls around! 
These pies in a jar are fun, easy and delicious.  I hope you give them a try.  I am pretty sure they will be a hit but only if you share!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rest in Peace Grandma

My sweet grandma passed away this morning.  We have been by her side since Wednesday and it wasn't until today, when all the grand kids were out of the house and it was just her and her 3 kids, that she finally made her way to heaven.  When I got to her house Wednesday morning, I told her that I loved her and she did her best to tell me I love you too.  She knows I was there and she knows that I love her.
I know that my grandpa was waiting for her on the other side.  He has been waiting for her for over 30 years.  They were engaged to be married after dating for only 3 months.  They had 3 children and most of their marriage dealt with my grandpa's illness.  I like to think that when they saw each other for the first time today, they started just where they left off.
My grandma Noreen Theresa Kealy Zahm was a full-blooded Irish woman with a temper to match.  She attended Catholic schools in Seattle all the way through high school. She was the craftiest lady I knew and I know that I got my craftiness from her.  She used to make all of us Christmas ornaments every year and I still treasure those every time I see them. The above picture is at my wedding in 2009, just a few years before her health started to really go downhill.  
Last night, all the grand kids wrote down their favorite memories of our grandma.  We read the memories to her before we went to sleep.  My cousin and I prayed the rosary with her and a priest came in to give her her last rites.  It has been an emotional week for sure.  In fact, the last few years have been.  This picture is from Christmas 2012. 
Grandma suffered for a few years and even though we are heartbroken that she is gone, we are happy knowing that she is in a better place, no longer suffering.  We have so many wonderful memories that we will carry with us always.  This picture was from last Christmas...just 2 months before she would pass away.  We love you so much Grandma Noreen.  We will miss you forever and love you for always.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Scholarship Gala 2015

My first Scholarship Gala is now under my belt!  It was a very LONG day but I made it all in one piece.  We got some rave reviews about the whole thing and several people have said it was by far the best one.  I will take that!
My centerpieces turned out AMAZING!  I took this picture with my phone and shared it on Instagram and Facebook and people were so complimentary.   
I didn't get a true before picture, but this one is before everything was all set.  We set up in record time as well! 
Here are all 45 tables set and all 450 chairs decked out in their finest covers and bands.  It's a lot of work but it is so worth it! 
The centerpieces were so great that I had to stop several people and tell them that they couldn't take them home!  We had the boxes specially built and borrowed the books from a library on campus.  I made the medallions but by the end of the night, I didn't care if we saved them or not! 
The VIP Tables had 5 books and the regular tables had 1.  The ferns also had a little purple tealight inside of them and you could really see it when the lights went down. 
I didn't get any pictures of any of the baskets that I put together and neither did the photographer we hired.  I had an amazing sushi basket that I loved and the person who won it took it apart at the event.  I was sad that they didn't love it as much as I did! 
 We got to the venue at 9 am and were out of there by midnight.  My whole body was sore and I was exhausted.  I didn't do much moving at all on Saturday!  My FitBit has the proof that I worked my bootie off that day, just look at these stats:
But oh my gosh was it worth it!  We blew all of our goals out of the water and knowing that the first gala that I did was the best yet, makes it all worth it.  Ready to do it again in another year!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Six ways to use a vintage egg basket

When we picked up these vintage egg baskets last weekend, Cody questioned me and what I planned to do with them.  He thought they would just sit there going unused and getting in the way.  I told him there were lots of things I could do with them and since he challenged me to prove it, I did!  Challenge accepted! 
There are 2 baskets here (I couldn't pry them apart).  One has a handle and one does not.  The first thing I did was rolled up some towels for the guest bathroom.  The basket holds 4 bath towels perfectly and are in plain sight so guests don't have to look all over for them. 
Next up, I filled the basket up with rolls of toilet paper for the guest bathroom.  The worst thing ever is running out of toilet paper so this should help solve that problem! 
 We could use a basket to hold dog toys.  They are clearly spoiled!
 It could hold extra pillows for the daybed out on the patio.  Spring will be here soon and I am sure many naps will be taken out there.  
 I can use a basket to hold root vegetables in the kitchen.  Having them in the basket will let me see if I need to get more and obviously I do!
 I could also use it in the kitchen to throw all of my dirty towels and rags in.  So many uses for these baskets.  One thing I won't be using them for is collecting eggs...I am afraid of chickens so that's not happening!  What are some ideas you have for my vintage egg baskets?
Speaking of baskets, I picked up this pretty French laundry basket at Hobby Lobby.  It was originally $149.99 and was in the 50% off aisle.  Someone mislabeled it at $22.50 so of course I grabbed it as quick as I could.  It lives in our bathroom and collects our dirty clothes.  I love that I can wheel it across the house to the laundry room so easily.  Now if I could just get Cody to put ALL of his dirty clothes in here! 
I don't think I ever showed you this adorable wheeled tiered cart thing I bought last fall.  I couldn't resist it when I saw it even though I have no idea what I am going to do with it.  It may go up camping with us this summer and be put to good use! 
I made Creme Brulee for the first time last night as our Valentine's dinner dessert.  Oh it is so yummy and now I am going to need to get a kitchen torch so that I can make this all the time! 
The dogs got their own Valentine treats too!  Homemade peanut butter dog bones.  I am thinking that I am going to make all their treats from now on because I like knowing what they are eating and it makes me happy to bake them treats!

Have a wonderful week!

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