Archive | March, 2011

Cake Batter Bark

30 Mar

Yes, I gave up dessert for Lent…

I am going to call this a “snack.”  Still with me?

I have long been a fan of the various candy barks out there.  I’ve previously made this one.  Today I came across a new one that is so ingenious…

Cake Batter!  So simple.  Add about 3 teaspoons of yellow cake mix to the white chocolate and it totally transforms it.    You can get the full recipe here.  Jessica has a lot of other tasty treats on her site too.

A Fist Full of Flowers

29 Mar

On the eve of April and its showers, I for one am looking forward to brightening up my home with fresh spring flowers.  I took this weekend to re-vamp some old vases a la Erica Domesek.

I think everyone has some of those vases that come with flowers.  You know, the cheap ones.  You feel bad just throwing them out and so you shove them in a dark corner of a cabinet in a far far away land of your kitchen with the intention to some day donate them to the Salvation Army or other like charity.  Well, this weekend I pulled mine out and gave them life!

A little puffy paint, which I had on hand and a purchased can of white spray paint and it was like magic!

Another One Bites the Dust

21 Mar

In my previous post,  I turned my spring cleaning into some re-fashion.  Well I found another shirt that had seen better days.  With some minor surgery, my blue and white striped tee is now another cute wrap around scarf.

I took this project straight out of P.S. I Made This.  This project is seriously simple and it only took me about 5 minutes total to complete.  I literally started cutting just before walking out the door.

I love giving my old clothes new life…

the handkerchief spring challenge

20 Mar

Sew, I was trying to clean out the garage but instead I tripped and stumbled down nostalgia lane (typical). I was stuck somewhere between 1989 – 1992 and found plenty of Hello Kitty gear that I could open my own Sanrio Surprise gift shop.  I guess I went through a phase of collecting Kero Kero Keroppi and had accumulated quite a bit of Sanrio handkerchiefs in the process as well. I showed our friend, Ming who told me that in China they keep handkerchiefs on them at all times for purposes other than blowing their noses. He said they use them to dry their hands after washing in public restrooms. Often times toilet patrons either pay for a napkin or don’t have the option of drying their hands.

This got me to thinking… we could totally follow the lead of China and either charge for the restroom napkins or not have the option of dry hands as we leave. We are already working on eliminating plastic bags why not reduce our paper use as well? Oh the conveniences of being American but we really take for granted and abuse all that we have. We need to be more resourceful and be kinder to earth. We can also teach our children some major lessons on reducing, recycling, and reusing!

Bows and Mums Vintage Hankie from Etsy Store: cushgoods

Very Unusual Vintage Hankie from Etsy Store: cushgoods

Since it is spring we can all try to for a season (and hopefully forever after) of using handkerchiefs to dry our hands after washing in public. Who knows where and what else we can get creative about. I have plenty but for those of you who need some ideas (your local antique store might have some very cool vintage linens laying about) check out Etsy.

Here are some sweet handkerchiefs just perfect for spring at Cushgoods.

Think of all the fun you can have finding handkerchiefs for friends, family, different seasons, to match your wardrobe?  Small changes make for big results! Share your hankie-pankie ideas of saving our world one idea at a time with us!

spring into this sail!

16 Mar

feal mor has the best french knit sailor sweaters on planet earth and rarely does the company have a sale, so stock up on these long lasting knits (made in france) and see what else is sailing away at their shop at 165 south la brea, los angeles, ca.

Re-Style File #2

15 Mar

The Original

In the spirit of Spring, I have dug this lovely garment from my closet to “re-style”. It was given to me a while back, but was too large for me to wear. I love the fabric and the color… most of all, I didn’t want it to go to waste hiding in the depths of my closet.

Step 1- Adjust to fit

My first step was to adjust the fit. There are many ways to do this. The correct way, carefully seam rip the sleeves, pin and mark the sides from my dress form.. etc, etc. I chose the lazy/fast way… with two kids, I take all the short cuts I can get! I laid out the top on a flat surface and found a shirt with the same stretch that fits well to lay on top. I marked the the top with a 5/8″ seam allowance in mind. I grabbed the scissors, cut the sides and it that was it! I pinned and sewed the new side seams and the arm holes.

With the sleeves, I opened them up and cut them into strips. I basted the strips and gathered the seams to create different sized ruffles. You can also zig zag stitch the sides of the ruffle strips to minimize fraying of the fabric. I chose not to do this because I wanted the ruffles to be soft and organic while shaping. I pinned the ruffles to the top while on the dress form. After I found the layout I wanted, I carefully removed the top and hand stitched the ruffles into place. This part took the longest, but well worth it to not see machine stitches all over. My new Springtime top is ready to wear! Of course, I will be hand washing this top from now on so the ruffles wont fray.

Wrap yourself in Spring

14 Mar

…with a wrap around scarf…or is it a necklace?

After my last post I got a lot feedback about how cute that necklace/scarf was.  So I thought I’d try my hand at it…

So at Caasi’s suggestion I sifted through my closet to find a tank or t-shirt that I was willing to part with.  I found a tank top that had a tiny little hole in it and the hoarder deep down inside me hadn’t parted ways with it yet.  I started at the bottom hem and began cutting it into about a one inch strip.  I just went around and around until I reached the arm holes and the neckline and could not continue.

Next, I tugged on the long strand so that the edges kind of curl into each other.  This works best with cotton and jersey fabrics. 

Once I had my material ready, I stood in front of a mirror and began wrapping until I had the desired effect.  In order to keep everything in place I very carefully ran it through my sewing machine in two places–the spot where my flowers would be places and where I would line it up with the back of my neck. 

This is where the flowers will be placed so the strands of fabric are a little more spread out.

These I gathered a little tighter since they will be at the back of my neck.

So on to the flowers…I decided on three, but really there are so many possibilities.  You don’t even have to use flowers.  Be creative!

The final step is applying the flowers.  This was probably the most time-consuming part.  I just hand sewed each one, one at a time.  Holding them in place while sewing with the other hand was a little challenging.  But I love the results. 

I wore this the very next day with a white v-neck t-shirt and it totally dressed it up in a cool dressed down kind of way. 

I have my eye on another old t-shirt…stripes!  Can’t wait!  This project is pretty darn easy and my favorite part is that it was totally free.  I had everything on hand.  So this year, while you’re doing your spring cleaning, look at your closet with an eye for repurposing some of your old favorites.  You might surprise yourself!

Spring has Sprung

11 Mar

This weekend we’ll spring forward so I thought I would provide a little inspiration as we thaw out. 


You might recall the wreath I made for Christmas.  If not, take a look at this post.  I used a simple method for making those felt flowers (5 felt circles, each folded in half twice and hot glued together).  I did the same thing this morning on a smaller scale and made a single yellow felt flower, attached it to a bobby pin and placed it in my hair. 

This small touch added some much needed color to my primarily black and white outfit today. 

I’m thinking I might make some more in different sizes and somehow fashion a necklace out of them.  I don’t have it all worked out in my head yet, but there is a lot of inspiration out there.  Including this necklace I found on

Happy Friday!

Dr. Mom, you’re my HERO!

10 Mar

I had a very Toy Story 2 moment in my household recently. You all remember the scene when young Andy is playing and Woody’s arm seam rips open. It’s a tale all too familiar with our children’s beloved toys.

My daughter has a hand-me-down dinosaur that was my husbands’ when he was her age. She came to me with the stuffed toy and pointed out that he was “broken”. Well, his combination sand/stuffing insides were starting to come through the very worn outside. I told her that I would make him better and fix his boo-boo.

I went to my fabric scraps and found some cute dinosaur fabric. I cut a band-aid shape big enough to cover the spot and hand stitched the poor, worn out toy. My daughter was very appreciative and kisses her dinosaurs ouchie…there, all better! Dr. Mom saves the day!

Have you had to perform small miracles on your kids’ toys lately?

Forty Days…

9 Mar

The Lenten season is upon us.  During Lent we typically give up some vice we may have…and hope it sticks and evolves into a healthier lifestyle. 

What will I give up this year?  With a heavy heart (in part because its saturated with remnants of my baking past), my husband and I have agreed to the following:

  1. Replace all soft drinks and alcoholic beverages with water…yes, plain old water.
  2. Replace all fast food (i.e. McDonalds, In-N-Out, and the like) with–GASP–fruits and vegetables.
  3. Discontinue all desserts, or, in the alternative, fruits and/or sorbet may be substituted for dessert.

So, for the next forty days, you can look out for new recipes featuring tasty vegetables and delectable ways to serve fruit for dessert.  But, this means there will be no baking! 

At least I know I have forty days to figure out what fabulous desserts I’ll be making for Easter!!  Till then, I can only drool!

What will you give up for Lent this year?

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