Archive | December, 2010

no cut. no color. just wash and dry!

19 Dec

my friend and i had a very important date this past thursday. with little time on our blackberry and iPhone we booked a quick hair appointment. one that would take about 30 minutes (until we added a “floater,” which is a 10 minute head massage).  we arrived at the dry bar in west hollywood about five minutes before we were due. our hair was a mess, not washed in days, and we looked crazed.

we sat down, took a look at the menu, had a mini-consultation, then we were swept off to be washed and massaged. after our wash just like at any other salon we were brought back to our station where we were dried. this dry bar has just about anything you need with in arm’s reach- an iPod docking station, a flat screen t.v. playing girl’s night out type movies (we watched Pretty Woman), pre-packaged snacks, and drinks!

speaking of drinks! “the menu” offers six different types of “poison” or styles: straight up, manhattan, southern comfort, cosmopolitan, mai tai, and the shirley temple. i had a little southern comfort mixed with a lot of cosmo, which is basically big hair w/ volume and lots of loose curls. My friend had the mai tai mixed with the cosmo- messy and beach w/ lots of loose curls. The salon offers photo books at each station to see the different styles offered.

very shabby chic, the guys and gals at the salon are super sweet and helpful. they’re quick and efficient, only $35 so you want to spend more on “extras” and possibly become a member! i want to open one in san diego so i don’t have to buy shampoo anymore!

Cuddly Zombies

17 Dec

Vampires and Zombies seem to be all the rage right now. Just before Halloween I was looking for a fun crafting project to do with my 4 year old. At my local Barnes and Noble I found the cutest little book, Zombie Felties. It provides detailed instructions for making cute and creepy little zombies out of felt and various beads.

All of the sewing was by hand so this craft is not ideal for young kids, but it was nice to have a helper there to hand me things as I needed them.

My little one loves his little zombie. Now we just have to make some more so that he has some friends. Maybe we can fit that in between now and next Halloween!

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

16 Dec

I recently hosted a baby shower for one of my nearest and dearest. As she is having a girl, it was hard to exclude pink, but I did my best to balance it out with lots of creams and greens.

Baby showers can easily become a cliché, so I did my best to keep it modern and clean….much like the new parents!

The invites I created on my computer and simply e-mailed them to my local FedEx Kinko’s for printing. I also carved out a stamp using the image of the stork. I stamped it on the envelope so that they coordinated with the homemade invites inside.

Once I had decided on the style of the invite, the rest of the decorations came from there. A diaper cake is a must have at a baby shower, so I made one using one package of size 1 diapers. I covered a cake round with some cute coordinating scrapbook paper and layered my diapers on top. I used a big container of baby powder and a chop stick to hold everything together in the center. I created a bouquet of felt flowers in different sizes to decorate the cake, and topped it with a stork matching the invite.

Since I went in a “Sugar & Spice” direction, I knew immediately that I wanted to have a Candy Bar. Who wouldn’t love to create their own to go bag of their favorite candies in lieu of the traditional party favor?

We had simple finger foods for the guests–Sandwiches, veggies, pita chips, etc–and instead of a traditional cake, in keeping with the finger foods, I made vanilla whoopie pies with strawberry glaze.

Mama got lots of great stuff for the baby and more importantly, we all had the chance to express our heartfelt congratulations to the happy couple and share in the love and excitement of this time in their lives!

Tee Shirt Re-Fashion

10 Dec

I have lots of over-sized tee shirts in my dresser drawer. Most of these shirts are Los Angeles Lakers shirts in extra large. I get them from my Mother-in-Law because she frequently goes to the games and gets them as door prizes. I didn’t really know what to do with such a large shirt and with so many of them. I have been re-sizing larger shirts to fit for sometime now… I thought this was an opportunity  to re-size these with  a twist.

I took the large shirt and I took my favorite shirt (one that fits well) and used it as my template. I matched up the shoulders and with a fabric pen, I roughly outlined the top with a 5/8″ seam allowance. I also marked out a new neck line.

Next, I took out the scissors. I cut the sides and the neck along the lines I made.

After that, I matched up, and sewed both sides. The fun part comes next…

As a cute twist, and also to help with the length.. I decided to add side ties.

Out of the remaining fabric I cut out two pieces, rectangular shaped 2″ by 10″. I pinned them on each side, spaced evenly over the inside, side seam and folded under 1/2″ so it was finished at the bottom. I sewed the pieces on three sides leaving the bottom open like a little upside down pocket. I then sewed up the ditch of the side seam and stopped 3/4″ from the top seam creating an upside down, u-shaped channel.

I cut two long strips, they don’t have to be perfect, about 3/4″ to 1″ wide and however long, not hard, fast rule on that. After they are cut, stretch them out and they will curl up. Use a safety pin on one end and help feed the cord through the “u” pocket to the other side.

Next, even out the sides, pull and tie! Repeat on the other side.

Lastly, I used single fold biased tape to create the finished neckline. I happened to have left over purple from my daughter’s dinosaur costume on hand. Luckily, the Lakers team colors are purple and gold!

I really like my new shirts! I re-fashioned 2 of them and possibly more. They never have really cute sports team shirts for women and now I have my own original one to wear to the games! I’ll be one of a kind and super cute! Above all, I have given life to two shirts I never really wore… you should check out your local Goodwill, husband’s/boyfriend’s closet or outlet stores for cheap finds and make your own favorite sports team shirt!

Vanilla Whoopie Pies With a Little Something Extra

9 Dec

One of the great things about Whoopie Pies is that the combinations are endless. You have the cakes…then the frosting…then the potential for glazes, or sprinkles. When I’m trying to come up with something new I think of a favorite flavor and try to do it a new way. When deciding the particulars for a casual baby shower (post to come!) I knew I wanted to include whoopie pies since for a party setting the are a perfect bite-sized, no-utentsil-needed dessert. Since this was for a party, I had to consider color coordination. Nothing says baby girl like pink and nothing says pink like a strawberry glaze.

For the cakes, I used a standard vanilla cake recipe. For the filling, I used store-bought vanilla frosting (not fluffy white…I think it would be too sweet). For color and just enough flavor I made a simple strawberry glaze. Once the pieces the pies together, I very carefully dipped them into the glaze and let them set on a wire rack with some parchment paper underneath to catch any excess glaze.

They not only turned out beautiful, but very light, and just sweet enough. I will definitely make these again! In the Spring they’ll make a great addition to Easter baskets and in the Summer they will be a lovely picnic ready treat!

My “Favorite Things”

8 Dec

These are my picks for Christmas gifts! I love and hate giving Christmas presents. I always like to find just the right gift, but sometimes it’s just plain hard to come up with an idea. I hope that this list will inspire you or help you this holiday season…

Sugar Skull Earrings
My first pick are these great earrings from MarketStreetBroads. They are sterling silver and so cute. I bought these for my teenage sister for her birthday this past November…she loved them!

$15.00

iPOD Toaster Pastry Cozy

This is adorable and handmade! I love this because it’s something unexpected. You can also find other cute creations made by Keilantra’s Kreations. If you want to tackle this task by yourself.. you can find excellent PDF Patterns for iPOD/iPHONE cases from Pacific Designs and Nook/iPAD cases from BirdifulStitches. I have purchased these patterns and have made things from both and they are easy to follow and use very little material. I shopped for cheap fabric quarters in coordinating colors from my local fabric shop.

$8.00 toaster pastry case
$6.00 – $7.00 PDF Patterns

The Great Book of Los Angeles Sports Lists

This book is great for any LA sports fan. It covers “Top Lists” of all Los Angeles Sports! Lakers, Dodgers, Kings, Clippers, Angels… it’s a fun read and written by local sportscasters, Matt “Money” Smith and Steve Hartman! There is a list on the Top 10 “Chickisms” from the legendary, Lakers announcer Chick Hearn as well as Top ten “Worst coaches in Clippers history” … very funny! With all these different sports teams rolled into one book… it’s sure to be a hit!

$13.45

Carved Wood Jewelry Box

I saw this jewelry box at the store last week and loved it! The wood carving and color is gorgeous! The top opens and has a mirror under the lid, and little ring compartments inside. Under that, there is a wide drawer with a felt lining. It’s on the small side, but I think it’s great for a bedside table to store everyday jewelry inside.

$39.99

It’s a Mandle!

I think that this gift is hilarious! Man-Candles! With scents like Dirt, Bacon, Meat & Potatoes…you are sure to find the perfect scent. This gift would be great as a stocking stuffer for any man!

$12.99 for 8oz
$7.99 for 4oz

Post Secret Books

This is a personal favorite of mine. I love the story behind PostSecret. The books by Frank Warren are fantastic. I love how artistic and creative the project is. A collection of secrets-written anonymously- on self-decorated postcards sent to Frank Warren. I check the PostSecret blog every Sunday for new secrets being posted. I can’t get enough!

$21.99- $28.99

Christmas is Back!

7 Dec

No doubt we’ve all felt the pinch these last couple years. But things seem to looking up as more people are out spending this year.  Here are my picks for season’s great gift ideas:
Construction Plate & Utensils

What little boy wouldn’t want to eat with these utensils?  Dinner just got a lot more fun!

$14.95 – $17.49

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blocks For  a New Generation

Blocks are pretty basic, but these puppies take it to a whole new level.  The wide variety of angles and positions that these blocks can take on, will inspire any kid to be think beyond the old school cube that was once a “block.”

$55.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Pot

These mod tissue holders add style beyond the boring flowery boxes.  Any stylista will appreciate this design and with pink, blue, orange, and green to choose from, you’ll find a color for any room!

$38.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mustache Lowball Glass

These are great for that friend that loves to entertain.  Guests will definitely smile to see eachother with a ‘stache as they drink up their favorite cocktail!

$18.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guy Wolff Windowsill French Herb Garden

This gift is great for both the gardener and the cook in your life!  Throw in a great recipe that calls for these herbs and maybe they’ll invite you over for dinner!

$22.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking with Trader Joe’s

Throw in a $10.00 gift card to get your loved one started and they will be well on their way to easy, accessible recipes using ingredients found just down the road.

$14.58

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feather Necklace

A statement piece that would look great with your favorite party dress as well as your favorite pair of jeans, the necklace is a steal!  You’ll want one for yourself too!

$38.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Shopping!!!

Cranberry Bars: Take Two

6 Dec

Are you going to a Holiday Party and don’t want to show up empty handed? Show up with a festive tin filled with treats! Yum-O!! You can make bars, like my Cranberry ones below… or try Yvette’s brittle… I heard that people were sneaking it in thier purses when she took it to Thanksgiving dinner!

I finally had a chance to make my cranberry macadamia nut bars again! This time I used fresh cranberries. If you remember in a frantic rush to make something for a dinner party.. I used the dried un-sweetened kind. Thanks to Thanksgiving.. the grocery store has fresh ones! I stocked up! Although, another option is to buy frozen. I never thought to look there, but Yvette said that Henry’s has them. I don’t have a Henry’s near me, but I never really checked in the frozen section. Hmm…

As far as the nuts go… last time I used hazelnuts as a substitute. I really like the taste of hazelnuts, also why I LOVE NUTELLA!! Thanks to Yvette’s post on Nutella, I have a new way to eat it besides licking it off the spoon! Back from my tangent… my recipe calls for macadamia nuts, I was lucky to find some in the store this time. I guess when you aren’t running through the store like a crazy person, you can find just about everything you are looking for.

I was such a nerd and felt very infomercial-like by using my Magic Bullet! I used it to fine chop my macadamia nuts and later, my fresh cranberries. What else was I supposed to do? You try “chopping” cranberries and macadamia nuts on a cutting board! Now that I think about it… maybe I need that Slap Chop!!

Macademia Nuts

The bars turned out great! The coconut, cranberries, macadamia nuts.. what a perfect blend. The other bars were good in a pinch, but these were better. The thing I didn’t like about the first batch was the color. The dried cranberries don’t give off the color that the real cranberries do after being baked in the oven. I had an impartial taste tester… my great friend Laura! She has tasted many of my baked goods and has tasted both versions of this cranberry bar. It was her dinner party that I brought the substitute bars to and I had her over recently to taste the real version…what a trooper! She concurred.. the real deal was top notch!

it’s the small things that make you cool

5 Dec

We cousins thought we would take turns sharing gift ideas that inspire us this holiday season… most of these ideas can work all year long and not just for 20 days away!

For Anyone and Everyone:

While strolling Nordstrom I came across this:

44USD

Who doesn’t love Hello Kitty? And who doesn’t love Monopoly? Put each one two-gether and you get Limited Edition Hello Kitty Monopoly! Now the whole family can enjoy Hello’s London hometown with six collectible tokens and buying/selling/trading location such as the the Bakery, the Music Theatre, Hello Kitty’s house, and other Sanrio Surprises!

For the imaginative one:

You just might be known as the “cool aunt” when some lucky niece or nephew unwraps this shadow box! The Robot Moonscape Shadow Puppet set allows for some vintage entertainment sans the board game or the T.V. However, Paxton Gate offers a lot more than just imaginative play… check out their succulents and other  ideas for the natural scientist or gardener in your circle of peeps.

39.50USD

For those who stump you:

These are my go-to gifts for most any occasion and just about anyone. Well under $50 so you can stock up on initials, gourmet coffee or teas, and just get creative with Antro’s mugs and tea cups! Another great selling point and gift thought about these mugs/cups is that they are sustainable gifts…

6USD (each)

For anyone who shops or hits the farmer’s market:

Priscilla Woolworth’s site most likely has the best eco-friendly, cool, and sustainable products offered to the world! We should all have market bags to reduce plastic waste and what a better way to nudge our friends and family strangers with this:

 

30USD

This bag was designed by Ms. Woolworth because she wanted something she could fill up with just about anything wherever she was from books to food and other bits and pieces. Made in the USA and 100% cotton who wouldn’t want to be this eco-cool?

For the crafty one (who also likes to bake):

I saw this book at Stamp Your Heart Out in Claremont, CA. It is the perfect mix of paper craft inspiration and baking, cooking, or drinking! The ladies at the shop could not stop recommending this book along with any other book Paper Crafts released! You can purchase from Stamp Your Heart Out or find it on sites like Barnes & Noble or Amazon – support your local stores! Listed price is around $23.00 but I got mine for a little over $17.oo.

 

22.99USD

For the guys or the dog lover:

These French Bulldog bookends make any guy look instantly cooler and just a tad more sophisticated. Its vintage finish in substantial resin make the pair a sturdy end for any book collection. You can find them at the Art Effect.

 

40USD

For your BFF:

I have this thing for Russian matryoshkas… no idea but I just love them! (Maybe I create a special post dedicated to my nesting friends!). While you’re still at the Art Effect you might want to toss in your cart these sweet little matryoshska six-dry measuring cups. Then head over to World Market find a cool little basket, add some fun baking box, and you have a great and original gift!

 

16USD

Have fun shopping! Happy Holidays!


 

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