All Mine 2 Background

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Look What I Made!

About 4 years ago, I purchased a wreath the day after Christmas at Target. Let's just say, the wreath has served me well, dressing up my door for the last 4 Christmas seasons. However, over the years, the wreath has faded and the berries have snapped off. Leaving me with this:
Just a little too "Laura Ingalls Wilder" for me

So, I did this:

Spray Paint from Hobby Lobby, $5
 WARNING TO ALL DIVAS!! -------Spray painting may cause you to break a nail -------- 

Nail Snag - ouch

Hmmmm.... definitely not the look I was going for
So after I sprayed the entire wreath with uneventful results, I decided I hated the berries, so I did this.... and it felt good.

So now that I had a blank slate to work from, here comes the bling... Here's what I had to work with:

Glamorous Sparkle Sticks from Hobby Lobby, $2.50 - Got 'em for 50% off - HOLLA! 

7 Peacock Feathers for $7. Also 50% off.
First, I wound ribbon around the wreath and using a glue gun, gluing down some of the edges.

Argyle Ribbon from Hobby Lobby, $2.50... 50% off.
 Next I wound the sparkle sticks in the wreath, creating a bling-y affect.

Just stabbed 'em through and sniped off the ends that stuck out. Stabbing and snipping feels good.

bling - tastic
Now for the final touch.... Peacock Feathers. Why?? Because I'm fabulous B*tches!
Wind those suckers around, through the ribbon, and just a little hot glue...

Finger cramp... Divas do NOT do finger cramps...
How about an alternative option... Just a little embroidery floss.

Yeah I have embroidery floss. I used to embroider things as a child... get over it.
Just snip off a piece and tie the feather to the wreath like so:

And now I shall unveil the final product!!
Which requires many pictures from different angles.

If this doesn't say, 'You are about to enter the house of a diva', I don't know what does....

Jazzy Front Door!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tray Chic

A few months ago, I purchased this tray from Marshall's Home Goods for 12 bucks. I originally bought it for the glam-ful mirror edges. However, I just wasn't diggin' the shopper girl picture.

Yeah, that's pretty much how I look when I'm shopping, right?
I decided to recover the tray with some really pretty blue lace paper laid over chocolate brown paper I found at Michael's (total cost of paper = $2.67). First I cut the 2 sheets of paper to fit the tray. Then I used double stick tape to tape the lace paper to the solid sheet of paper like so:
That's tape on the backside of the paper
I used double stick tape to attach the paper on top of the original tray
Then I laminated the paper on top of the tray so I could easily clean the tray and set drinks on top of it with out having to worry about water marks.

Lamination paper roll was purchased with a 50% off Michael's coupon for $3.50.

And here we have a totally glamorous tray. How chic!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Baking and Crafting 2010

It's that time of year again to make cookie boxes to distribute to my friends and co-workers. In years past, I have made up to 4 different kinds of cookies and arranged them in cookie boxes. Over the years (this is my 4th year doing this), it has become quite an ordeal to make all the different kinds of dough in advance, and spend most of the next day baking and arranging cookies in the 20 or so boxes to hand out. Last year was quite a scramble, as I ran out of one particular type of cookie and had to bake some brownies at the last minute to cram into a few of the remaining boxes that were missing something chocolaty.
Making these holiday goodies not only brings joy to me, but I feel its a nice little thing I can do to let the people in my life know how important they are to me... especially my team members at work who have been working so hard on my team for over a year. So this year, instead of stressing out over a giant cookie operation, I decided to scale things back and just bake 2 different kinds of cookies, passing out 1 to half of the recipients and 1 to the other half.
Every year I have made Mexican Wedding cookies, and they are my absolute favorite, so I couldn't not make those. So for my other cookie, I decided to make something new.... a chocolate sandwich cookie with peppermint butter cream icing rolled in crushed candy canes. My friend Jaime had found the recipe on and thought that it looked so pretty. Note, I have made comments in the reviews section on this recipe under my name "engineeringirl" because of course, I've changed it slightly.
And without further ado, pictures:

Now THAT'S a cookie!

Can you believe that I used 10 STICKS OF BUTTER in order to make a double batch of each of these delicious cookies?
Little pillows of happiness

Seriously, how cute?!

Love Love Love the Martha Stewart packaging....
Oh and you know I couldn't end a blog post without telling you how I scored a deal on this adorable Martha Stewart packaging from Michael's Crafts... It just so happens that I received a coupon inside my Martha Stewart Living Magazine for 50% off any Martha crafting item as well as a 40% off coupon in my weekly Michael's Craft mailer. So I went through the line twice to be able to use both coupons, as they would not let me use both at the same time. As weird as that seems, it saved me $5 and $4 respectively, and that was worth my time!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Triple D Challenge

I am obsessed with food. I love trying new kinds of food... the weirder, the better. Basically, if it's not a bug or a rodent and not rotten, I'll eat it. There are so many types of food that are considered delicacies in other countries or even other areas of this country, I figure why not see what all the hub bub is all about? I mean, just because the dish is considered different here where I live, doesn't mean that it's bad! Some of my absolute favorite foods are international foods and not indigenous to the area I live in! Besides that, there are many other reasons to try new foods:

1) Support a local business - Many of the restaurants in my area that offer international cuisines are local businesses, owned my local entrepreneurs. Supporting local business puts money back into the community where I live, thereby sustaining it's growth - all around a good thing I think!
2) Appreciate other cultures - trying foods from other cultures gives me a way to learn about other cultures. 
3) Be open minded - you might even LIKE the new stuff you try! Heck, I would rather chomp down on some sushi over your run of the mill Chili's or Olive Garden any night of the week.
4) Save money - Many times a local restaurant prices dishes fairly and relatively cheaply (in comparison to like dishes at the big name places). These restaurants may also offer coupons to get customers in the door.
5) Be healthy - Local business most often use fresh ingredients and cook up the dishes to order. Again, unlike the big names where you are probably getting something that's been defrosted and thrown into an oven to heat up before arriving on your plate.

So with all those convincing reasons why one would want to eat locally and adventurously, I am eating my way through Houston by trying to dine at all the restaurants featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network (Triple D). I started this adventure a little under a year ago when my sister visited in Jan 2010. Ever since then, every time I turn around, there's a new Houston restaurant being featured on that show! How lucky am I to live in a large city with tons of unique places to eat?! Here is the list I am working from:

Kenny & Ziggy's Deli - a real life NY Delicatessen. They make their Pastrami in house. Everything served in this place (including their sandwiches, pies and cheesecakes) is HUGE.

Niko Niko's - Hands down the BEST gyro EVER.

Cafe Pita - One of (if not the only) Bosnian restaurant in the US and my most recent restaurant visited. I had to drive 45 min to get there! It was totally worth it, and I will be back. Check out my pictures below!

The outside of Cafe Pita. On the corner of a strip mall way far away, but oh was it worth the drive.

Guy Fieri (host of Triple D) signed the wall! How awesome is that? I promise I'm totally not a stalker... well maybe only slightly.

Here's me eating a PLJESKAVICE - Ground beef patties mixed with flavorful spices served with lepinja bread and stuffed with mozz. cheese,mushrooms and crushed peppers
Red Lion Pub - A British Pub with Indian influences. Definitely a gem in Houston.

Lankford Grocery - Haven't been here yet. Their mission statement says they never give you a check, but that doesn't mean it's free... hmm it's definitely got me interested.

T-Bone Tom's - This one is near my house and is a local favorite. The armadillo eggs are a tasty creation to try!

Bob's Taco Station - Haven't been here yet, and I don't know anything about it. But judging from the pictures, it looks pretty authentic.