Monday, February 20, 2012

February Challenge: Week 3

Think I was a slacker this week? Think again! The amount of things I got done or started this week could hold me over for the next month. Could... but won't! I'm just getting back into the swing of things!

Monday (New Hairstyle): On Monday I tried out this easy-looking formal bun. I was in a rush, and it really didn't take long to do! It was very very pretty and I felt pretty in it!

The only problems I faced were my stick-straight hair that can't seem to hold anything (no matter how many bobby pins and how much hair spray I add) and the fact that I spent the day at an Elementary school. So this is what my hair looked like by the end of the students' breakfast...

So it didn't hold too well and my hair was just a hot mess for the rest of the day. But hey, it was a start!

I also tackled a new recipe on Monday since Tuesday was Valentine's day and I couldn't eat my boyfriend's wonderful steak dinner without a dessert to offer up! Sticking to what he loves, I made this No Bake Oreo Layer Dessert (you'll find that most of my desserts for him have oreos, peanut butter, or both). It was delicious and disappeared WAY too quickly.

I ALSO did a craft on Monday night to prepare for my first Valentine's day with my (almost) very own students. I made these Break my Heart valentines very easily and with only needing to buy m&ms. Just print the template, cut out the hearts, staple two hearts together, fill with M&Ms, and seal! The students get the M&Ms by 'ripping' your heart open. They loved it!

Tuesday (New Outfit): On Tuesday it was a little chilly so I went with this new Ralph Lauren turtleneck (I know, I haven't owned a turtleneck since I was in Elementary school... but hey, it's RL and pink :)), a tshirt vest, and black pants. Simple, and matching. Oh, I forgot to mention, my favorite pair of sparkly pink flip flops! They're wonderful!

Wednesday (New Recipe): On Wednesday I decided to try out another recipe in the crock pot while I went to work: Crock Pot Lasagna. I got up early, got everything ready and started, and followed the instructions to cook on high while I was getting ready then turn to 'warm' and leave for the rest of the day. It only took me about 30-45 minutes to get ready, so I thought I would leave it to my boyfriend, who leaves about 45 minutes after me, to turn it to warm. I woke him up, gave him the instructions, texted him, everything. I MADE SURE he turned it to warm. He promised me he did. I come home Wednesday afternoon, and what is the crock pot on? Low. This doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but the instructions say that the lasagna is supposed to be cooked for 4 hours on low for it to be finished. This lasagna was cooked on 1 1/2 hours on high then 7 hours on low! Ugh. I didn't get mad at him. I didn't. I calmly explained what happened, then I scraped out the burnt pieces and tupperwared up the salvageable leftovers. I couldn't help but take a picture of the burnt pieces in the sink, just in case he ever cared to ask what happened to the lasagna. The lasagna was still pretty good... just had that nice crispy flavor to it.

Thursday (New Craft): On Thursday my craft was to start the charging cell phone holder. Logan has a dresser on his side of the bed and his phone cord doesn't reach up there, so his phone is always sticking in my clothes drawer or balancing precariously on the ledge of something. I decided this is just what he needed. I started with an old conditioner container and got it all cut and ready to mod-podge, but when I put Logan's iPhone in it, it wouldn't fit. Time to find something bigger. Although I didn't finish this craft until Saturday, I did finish it! I found a Lysol bottle that I thought would be too big, but after finishing the project it ended up being a really good size. My version doesn't look nearly as good as the one in the tutorial, but it turned out to be a pretty nifty invention.

Friday (Home Day): This is where things start to get sketchy. On Friday I came down with a horrible case of strep throat, so I was in bed pretty much all day. My craft on Friday DOES count as something for the home, so it's kind of a double whammy. I made up for it on Saturday anyways.

Saturday and Sunday (Jumble Days): Although I should have been in bed all day Saturday and Sunday, I spent my days between laying in bed, studying for my upcoming FTCE exams, and doing crafts. Oh, Sunday I went hiking and shopping too. Not to say I felt great doing it. So I got quite a few things done and started over the weekend... Since I had to call out of work I might as well do SOMETHING productive.

I started by cleaning my showerhead using this nifty trick of rubberbanding a bag of white vinegar to the head of the shower, leaving it, then scrubbing it off. I left it for multiple hours then scrubbed and scrubbed and used bleach to get it the way it was, but mine was pretty nasty in the first place. Now the water comes out all the holes though! Yay! Check out my before-during-after shots.

I also finally got around to putting up a cork board piece on the inside of my kitchen cabinet, inspired by this idea. This would be a great place to hang recipes (if I used anything besides pinterest) and right now it's where I'm hanging my shopping list. It was super easy, I just used mounting pieces from the dollar store and a piece of cork left over from an old project, both things I already had around the house (so what had taken me so long to get it done?).

I also shopped and started a few projects... here's a peak of what's to come!
and a super secret knitting surprise that will blow your mind (if it comes out right)!!!

Oh, here's a picture from our hike on Sunday, just for the fun of it. We definitely went a little... erm... off the trail. Our baby of a dog wouldn't get her feet wet so Logan had to carry her across the river. What fun :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February Challenge: Week 2

Wow, February has been passing so quickly! I'm having a blast with this challenge! Although, it is a little challenging coming up with the time on Thursday and Friday nights to get crafts and home stuff done. A lot of stuff overflows into the weekend, but that's what I left those days open for!

So here's how this week went:

Monday (New Hairstyle): So this was actually a Sunday night Superbowl Party hairstyle that carried over into Monday when I threw it up in a ponytail. Yeah, I do that a lot. So I found this curling wand at goodwill in the surplus/new items section and remembered my friend saying how it curled really well. If you haven't gotten on the bandwagon of a curling wand yet, it's just a curling iron without the clamp... so it's just a really hot rod that you wrap your hair around, but it doesn't make that annoying little twitch in your hair where the clamp holds it. Yes, I could just wrap my hair around my curling iron without using the clamp, but then I wouldn't get to spend money and have the latest item. The point is, it was like $15 at Goodwill, and I was in the mood to spend some money, so I bought it. I tried it out on Sunday night when I was in a hurry, and absolutely loved it! It didn't curl my hair as much as wave it, and right away I felt like I had Taylor Swift hair. Add some hairspray and my hair was wonderfully un-straight for the next 24 hours!

Tuesday (New Outfit): For my new outfit this week, I went a little more toned-down than last week. I paired up a skirt that was in the back of my closet that I had never worn before with a plain yellowish-gold shirt (the skirt had gold beads at the top), gold sandals, and a gold necklace. Of course, the one day I wear a skirt to work the wind blows like crazy on the playground, so I got to spend the whole time keeping one hand on my clothes. Wardrobe malfunction in an Elementary School? No, thanks.

Wednesday (New Recipe): On Wednesday, I tried out this Roasted Carrot Soup from pinterest. I've been waiting a long time to make this, and I was looking forward to the simplicity and creaminess of the soup. Well, it was NOT worth it. It took about 2 hours to make, and only made enough for two lunches. I guess that's the glory of making things from scrap. I had to cut the carrots, cook the carrots, cook the broth, blend it all together, add more water, make it soupier... I wasn't happy. I wasn't very impressed with the taste either. It was almost too much... like baby food. Maybe a little more water would do it next time, but I have a feeling there won't be a next time for this soup in my household.

Thursday (New Craft): So one of the crafts I came up with earlier this week was to help out my friend's wedding. She was telling me how much she wanted brown paper bag envelopes that looked 'earthy' so I spent the afternoon figuring out how to fold and glue a paper grocery bag so that it yielded a nice looking envelope. I was so excited with the finished product that I forgot to take a picture, but I'll do up a tutorial now.

Friday (Home Day): None, again.

Saturday & Sunday (Jumble days): I played catch-up this weekend... I did a lot of cleaning and organizing. I also finally got around to making some shoes that have been sitting in my 'projects in progress' bag for months. I found these shoes at Forever 21 when I was doing a walk-through one day. They were $5 and came in UCF colors :)

So of course, I bought them, and decided I wanted to spruce them up a little. I wanted to add a knight but wasn't brave enough to attempt wasting a good pair of shoes to a shaky hand. Instead, I just did the 'UCF' symbol in white fabric paint.

I also threw together a recipe that I have been craving all week. My mom used to make these homemade 'egg mcmuffins' for us on weekends. Just cook an egg over-easy, add some cheese and ham and put it all on an English muffin. Delicious!!!

That's it for this week!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February Challenge: Week 1

Week 1 of my wonderful new challenge, and someone decided this obviously wasn't hard enough. Within the first two days of deciding to fill my limited extra time with wonderful new experiments, I had a best friend announce a wedding and a pregnancy. Suddenly, instead of planning outfits and recipes, I'm spending the majority of my free time planning Save-the-Dates and parties.

That won't stop me, though! Who needs sleep?

Just kidding. Actually, I'm excited about the new things I can come up with to help out my friend. I love weddings, I love babies, I love creating things.

So I've been busy this week. I haven't EXACTLY stuck with my schedule, but I've done much more than I planned. Want to see?

Monday (New Hairstyle) - I attempted the braided headband inspired by this. I don't know if I just don't have the right hair for it or I did it wrong, but it was very hard to get a flat start (the beginning of my braid stuck out of my hair like a weird lump) and the braid got very skinny at the end where the layers of my hair ended. Low and behold, I decided to stick with my plan... I threw my hair up in a ponytail with the braid and wore it the whole day, no matter how silly I looked.

Tuesday (New Outfit) - I spent an hour or so on Monday night trying to find a new outfit to wear on Tuesday. I finally found this inspiration with the button-up shirt under a tank top under a blazer. I worked it and worked it and finally settled on the look below. Again, I feel like I looked a little silly, and Logan was SO confused about what I was wearing.

Wednesday (New Recipe) - On Wednesday I made Oreo Cheesecake Cookies for my friend and her fiance to say congratulations. Everyone seemed to love them, except me. I don't like cheesecake, so this was the perfect recipe to give away!

Thursday (New Craft) - Okay, here's where things get a little fishy. I didn't get around to doing a craft on Thursday, but I cooked up something for Tiffany yesterday at work. Tiffany found these save the dates on Etsy and was close to buying them when I swooped in and convinced her we could make them. I was stuck and work with limited supplies, but this was my creation. For her actual save the dates, it should be on lighter cardstock with twine instead of ribbon. She also doesn't want the thumbprints at the bottom.

Friday (Home Day) - Yeah, I didn't do anything house-related on Friday. Oops.

Saturday & Sunday (Jumble days) - Oh boy, did I get a lot done this weekend! Not only did I start up Tiffany's Save the Dates, I prepared for superbowl with these desserts. I figured I'd whip up something fast and easy, but this was much easier said than done. I started with these Chocolate Covered Football Strawberries. Since I was going to decorate my cookies anyways, I substituted the white cookie icing for the white chocolate making the lace of the footballs. It wasn't perfect and it kind of ran together, but it worked. I also did these football cookies, which seemed super easy on the website, but were MUCH more complicated. Oh, right, just "pinch the dough into a football shape"... Logan and I sat there for an hour pinching and kneading and rolling and shaping this football dough until Logan finally gave up, slamming his football into a puff of flour. I eventually gave up too, saying que sera sera. Well, after all that work, the cookies baked and still turned into non-football shaped blobs. Without saying anything to Logan, I calmly got out my kitchen scissors and cut each blob into a football shape. Logan was shocked at how nicely they turned out ;). I then frosted them, then spent about an hour putting icing the little laces on the strawberries or cookies. Argh. I hope it's worth it. I don't even like football.

On a separate note, did I mention we got a new dog??? Logan and I adopted Lily, an 8 year old Shepard mix from the shelter two weeks ago. Isn't she precious???

Well, that's all for now. Time to search for another hairstyle for tomorrow!