Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tutu Costume Ideas for Adults

So I really liked my McKayla costume, but after having worn it twice and having to explain to everyone who I was, I wanted to do something a little more obvious for handing out candy tomorrow. BUT I had no time and only a tiny budget (spend as little as possible!) Here are some ideas I came up with.


I started with something I already had: A green tutu from my elf costume.



From there I brainstormed several ideas:

Hula dancer: Needed: Coconut bra (white shirt underneath for me) and lei.

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Mermaid: Needed: Purple top and red hair dye

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Robin: Needed: Red Shirt with "R" on it, mask

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Kermit: Needed: Kermit hat and green shirt

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Tinkerbell: Green top, ballet flats with puff ball, fairy wings

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What other ideas can you think of for my green tutu?


Monday, October 29, 2012

Toy Story Halloween Costumes

This year, we went easy for Halloween. My older kids used some dress-up clothes my mom sent a while ago, and we put together the rest of the costumes.


"Buzz can't smile!" my 4-year-old insisted.


My youngest was Jessie. We bought a new hat for Woody and used the plastic hat that came with his costume as Jessie's, with a braid made of red yarn taped inside. We took a button-up shirt that fit my daughter and after exhausting all our options, cut a sheet of yellow construction paper to make the yellow yoke (with red marker "embroidery") and yellow cuffs ("bracelets," we told her. She was very protective of them!).

Then we used an old size 6 T-shirt turned inside out. I cut off the sleeves, then cut up the center of the front all the way. The back I cut up to the top collar. That became the back waistband. If I'd had a belt for her, I would've threaded it through the armholes. Instead, I safety pinned the waistband on. I also safety pinned the inside of the legs of her "chaps." A black marker made it cow print.

My husband wore a T-shirt, shorts and Chucks--and a name tag reading "ANDY." I'm not in the picture because I was Andy's mom and was too in character ;) , but I wore an outfit she wears in Toy Story 3.

What are your favorite family costume ideas?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flintstones Costumes!

Here they are! Go here for a brief explanation of how I made them! Have a great weekend! 






All that orange did not come out in one washing...

Tic Tac Toe from Rescued Treasures

I just finished a tin of curiously strong mints. (You know, Altoids.) If I can't throw away a cardboard oatmeal container, you know I am not throwing away a metal tin.  I decided to see what I could make using only things I had at home.

I used some reclaimed magnet sheets*, some fun foam and cardstock, paint and paint markers.
*Check here to see how much  I love them!

I got the big pot of paint on sale at Michaels for about a dollar and the markers (terra cotta) came from a Michaels grabbag.




We gave the top and bottom of the tin a coat of white paint. When it was thoroughly dry, I decorated it.

The game pieces were from the foam and cardstock, cut after being glued to magnet sheets.

Voila!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beginning of Wedding Planning

First, I need help with what to do for my pumpkin this year! Remember last year? Yeah how can I top that? I would like to do an homage from one of the my favorite movies that came out this year. So which should I choose from? Hunger Games, Spider-Man, Batman or something else? Please help!!

So I guess I can start to tell you all about this wedding of mine. I met my fiance at church away at school at the beginning of last semester. We were friends and then we were friendlier and now we're getting married! It's kind of crazy to think we're getting married!

We decided to get married in December so the winter wedding plans started with a winter color palette. My favorite color is red and his is green. Christmas right? Yeah, we're not going with a Christmas theme. So red it was. I looked at different paint chips and was able to decide the right hue. Choosing the accent color was the easy part. Either color we chose, green or red, I knew it was going to be a light gold or champagne color. After choosing colors, things got moving because decisions were easier to make. Here's my color!

 
 
So when planning an event or more specifically the wedding, you have to take into account what season the event will happen in. 
Spring: lighter, airy colors like pastels or white
Summer: bright, fun and bold colors like primary colors
Fall: earthy tones with a more red or yellow hue like fall leaves
Winter: darker colors, earthy tones still work, bluer hues like purple or deep reds and greens
Accent colors shouldn't rival your main color. Choosing metal colors like silver, gold or bronze is a great place to start. Accent colors should be more mild. Compare the colors together. Don't be afraid of being picky! I was quite picky when it came to finding the right shade of champagne.
 
A Million Questions I want to know the answers to:
So would you all like to know? Anything? Do you all want to know about the wedding plans (ie venue decorations, centerpiece, flowers, bridesmaid dresses, etc.)? Am I asking enough questions? I don't want to bore you readers with wedding plans so you all tell me! Thank you all :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flintstone Halloween Costumes

Yabba Dabba Doo! I thought long and hard about our costumes and ended up going with something I thought of early on. We are going as the Flintstones. I don't have pictures of us wearing them yet but I put the finishing touches on them last night. I spent a total of $16 on our three costumes.

What I bought:
One orange XL shirt 
One green 4T shirt
1 yard turquoise fabric
1 yard soft white fabric
2 pieces black felt (8x11'' sheets)
Orange hairspray
Elastic (1/2")

For my costume I just made a white skirt. I sewed the short sides together and sewed it onto elastic I will be wearing a white shirt with it since I wanted to cover a bit more skin than Wilma does :) I made the beads for the necklace out of the air dry clay. They are still drying so I don't have them on a necklace yet. I will also be spraying my hair orange.
For my husband's costume I knew there was no way I could get him into a "dress" like Fred. So I took a t-shirt in a size larger than he wears and cut the sleeves and bottom so they looked jagged. I cut triangles with rounded edges and glued them onto the shirt. To make the tie I took a piece about 8 inches wide and sewed it into a long tube. I tied a loose knot in the middle. I cut a doubled piece into a large tie shape and made two cut outs to make it look jagged. I sewed the pieces together and gathered the top and sewed it onto the knot of the other piece. I still need to sew velcro on the back for wearing it.

For my sweet little Pebbles I took the green t-shirt and cut off the torso. I used a shirt a traced about the same shape and made a smaller torso and sleeves. I cut the neckline into a v-neck. I used a long stitch and gathered the bottom part I cut off and sewed it on. I didn't mean for it to look like a little dress but it did turn out really cute! I made little spots and glued them onto the front and back. I used a part of NON-stretchy bloomers as a a guide to made her bloomers and sewed elastic onto the top. This pattern is really good as well.  They are tight so it's good she only has to wear them once! I made the bone out of the clay. I will glue it to a clip.


I will post pictures after the party we go to on Friday at church. I can't wait!

Did you guys see Jaime's costume for Halloween? I absolutely love it! She is so creative! 

To see how they looked on go here. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kitty Litter Cake and My Halloween Costume

I'm finally ready for Halloween! At work there is a competition for the ickiest food on a big meeting on the 31st. I'm planning on recreating this masterpiece I've made before:


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And if you are wondering what I felt about it:

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Happy Halloween! And happy birthday to my husband today! Love you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chess vs. buttermilk pie: the smackdown

Last year, I went on a quest to make unusual pies, and this is where I began. When Sky Magazine asked Martha Stewart what the most underrated pie was, she said, “Chess pie.”

Apparently chess pie is a Southern classic. I was born and raised in the South and not only had I never eaten it, I’m not even sure I’d ever heard of it. I knew this had to be remedied, and I had to find the perfect chess pie.

So what’s with the name? It conjures images of board games of strategy or Alice in Wonderland (especially in chess tart versions). But really, no one knows exactly how it got the name. Equally specious theories include that originated in Chester, England, or that a Southern woman (who apparently had developed a Southern accent before the US was even its own country) told her husband she was serving “jes’ pie.” (Should I spell that “pah”?) Possibly the most likely is that because the pie kept well in a pie chest, it was originally “chest pie,” and the t and the p elided.

There are probably hundreds of variations on chess pie, the most basic sweet custard pie you’ll find. All recipes use an egg-based custard, sweetened with sugar. Corn meal is often used as a thickener. Some people say that’s what makes a chess pie a chess pie, but not all the recipes I found used it. Some recipes even include a little vinegar to cut the sweetness with a little acid, but many believe that including vinegar moves the pie into a whole ‘nother category: Vinegar Pie (next time, pie fans!). The Merry Gourmet’s chess pie recipe includes some vinegar, but I omitted it so I could compare the pies with and without it.


I picked four recipes to make in my new mini pie pans. This week, we’ll cover a chess pie recipe from the Merry Gourmet, and a buttermilk (chess) pie recipe from About.com. (The parentheses are because they call it buttermilk chess, but I just call it buttermilk for short, though a true buttermilk pie is slightly different.) For the pictures in this post, the pictures on the left-hand side are chess pies, and the ones on the right are buttermilk.


Chess Pie vs. Buttermilk (Chess) Pie: Smackdown!

Both of these recipes use egg, sugar, and cornmeal (as a thickener). This particular buttermilk pie actually calls for double the vanilla of the chess pie, but I made them the same. The chess pie uses a little milk, while the buttermilk, naturally, uses buttermilk. The buttermilk pie also calls for a little butter and a small amount of salt.

I was almost afraid to try these cornmeal confections. I have a texture hangup with hard bits in something that’s supposed to be smooth and soft (ice cream, yogurt). What if the cornmeal didn’t get any softer? Would I be able to choke them down?

Results
The top of both pies has a delicious sugar crunch like a very thin meringue, and the center is simply sweet without tasting exactly like sugar. Surprisingly, the pies didn’t seem gritty between the crunch of the sugar crust and the regular pie crust (though after swallowing, I did find a few bits of lingering meal). The best part is the little bit along the edge of the pie—combined with the side of the crust, the custard takes on a chewiness that’s an awesome surprise. After discovering this, I made my husband sample a piece of the edge, and he agreed.

Personally, I preferred the buttermilk (chess) pie, even though it turned out . . . less than beautiful, comparatively speaking. The texture was a little more substantial, slightly chewier (in a good way), and the flavor had a fantastic hint of the butter included. I should note that the Merry Gourmet’s recipe, from her grandmother, actually called for three times the butter used in the buttermilk version, but she forgot it and said the pie tasted perfect without it, so I omitted it as well. I made two other pie varieties at the same time as these which did use the full amount of butter, and I still preferred the butter taste in the buttermilk version.


Scores:
Chess Pie, Merry GourmetButtermilk (Chess) Pie, About.com
Taste:3 stars3.5 stars
Texture:2.5 stars4 stars
Easy to make:4 stars4 stars
Durability:5 stars, For both, the crunchy meringue-like upper crust actually held up on the counter, instead of getting soft like a meringue does5 stars
Wow factor:2 stars. It’s not underrated for nothing.3 stars.

Recipes
These recipes have been adapted for 5″ pie pans.

Chess Pie
adapted from the Merry Gourmet
  • 1/4 cup plus 1.5 tsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp cornmeal
  • 2 1/4 Tbsp liquid egg product or beaten eggs (just over half an egg)
  • 3/4 Tbsp milk
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla (if you have a “pinch” measuring spoon, it’s actually 3 pinches)
  • 1 unbaked 5″ pie crust

Buttermilk Chess Pie
adapted from About.com
  • 1/4 cup plus 1.5 tsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp cornmeal
  • 2 1/4 Tbsp liquid egg product or beaten eggs (just over half an egg)
  • 1 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 unbaked 5″ pie crust

Directions for both pies
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls, then add wet to dry. Pour into pie crust. Although most recipes will tell you to lower the temperature at about 20% of the total baking time, I left my oven on 350 and baked them for about 25 minutes. Check your pies often—I considered them done once the top crust was fully set, and might crack but wouldn’t collapse if I tapped it.

Have you ever had chess pie? What did you like (or dislike) about it?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Oatmeal Ideas



My husband and I are creatures of habit when it comes to breakfast, and for the first time ever, it is the same habit. OATMEAL. Everyday. That leaves us with a lot of these:
That's right, I am too cheap to buy Quaker!

Everytime I throw one in the recyling bin, I pause. I just feel like this container is full of possiblities. I was thinking I could use them to put Christmas gifts in, but I don't know. It's not like I have room to store them for a second use.

I did a quick inventory online and found some ideas. What do you think?

Find it at Mrs Mary Ann's House.
Kind of what I was thinking about.  What else is out there?
Cute idea! You could also make smaller ones from salt containers.

I think this is very pretty. Too bad I can't stand to wear a headband!

This looks good, and I have that very gluegun. It burns you really badly.

And my favorite one for this time of year:

I love it!

So, what ideas do you have so that not one more oatmeal container goes in my recycling bin?



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spooky Nails

Sometimes some ombre nails that I see on pinterest to me look like fungal infections. So I thought, "why not try this out for Halloween?" So here's my experiment in icky, spooky nails for a which or creepy old lady costume.

I used four nail polishes: white, gold sparkle, blue sparkle, and emerald.
I started by painting my nails white. Getting a good layer of white is tricky. The first coat I did thin so it would dry faster and I knew it wasn't going to show so I didn't really care what it looked like. The second coat I did slower with more paint on the brush, reapplying paint to the brush often so I could get a solid, even coat. Then, starting at the cuticle, I painted on gold sparkle leaving 1/4 of my nail white.
I then alternated the gold sparkles with the blue sparkles, creating several coats each getting shorter (closer to the cuticle) as I layered them.
I decided this wasn't spooky enough. So I wanted to add some real creepiness to it and I decided to line my cuticle with a darker emerald green. I did this by dipping a detail pen (you can also use the head of a sewing pin) in the polish and lightly drawing a line, reapplying paint to the brush every few small, teeny, tiny strokes. I almost dotted it on the strokes were so tiny.
Then, while the green line was still fresh, I added another layer of the gold sparkle on and a whole thick coat of it too so the layers and colors would soften together.
 
So, what do you think? I don't know about them...but they definitely look icky! Is a win or a flop??

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Decor Round Up

Are you in full fall mode yet? If not, we've got some great fall decor ideas to help you get that way!

Brooke made this beautiful fall wreath and has tons of great tips for making wreaths.

 

Jordan has a great harvest printable. We love this quote!


Mom made these table runners for fall. The second one looks great on Jaime's tablescape!


 

Jasmine made these fun Mod Podge Halloween vases. So cute!


Jaime made this fall leaves canvas. Can you believe it was only $1?!


 Now are we ready to decorate?! Get to it!
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