How I Get Icing in Those Little Bottles - Starting Today

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

If I had seen this tip yesterday, I could have saved an awful lot of cleanup time. This is one of those ingeniously simple tips that when you see it you'll do a face-palm for not thinking of this yourself.
Of course, I was in too much of a hurry to start decorating my first official Christmas Cookie batch, that I didn't stop to get organized. Well, I thought I was pretty organized; I had my icing ready, several bowls with colored outline and fill-icing and all the little bottles ready to go. What took f.o.r.e.v.e.r was trying to get all the icing into the itty bitty bottle openings--not to mention the cleanup afterwards. That's were this awesome tip from The bearfoot baker comes in. Like I said--genius! Here is the link: How I Get Icing in Those Little Bottles:

Anyway, I'm sure I could have a ton of time from decorating the Peppermint Candy Cookies. Even though I only used three colors, I had Katie help, so we needed everything times two. But now I know and next time will be better--if I manage to remember to actually put this little gem to use. ^__*

'via Blog this'


Color Spots June 3, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Color Spot using a quick picture I took of some garlic -- right before I chopped it up for dinner :)

Garlic on wooden board


My first ikea hack

Monday, May 28, 2012

I'm always drooling over those fabulous Organizer Systems you see on sites like Pottery Barn. Of course, I'm sure that when you add all the daily homework papers and school notices and junk mail you need to go through, even those spaces will lose some of their perfect look, right? Ok, maybe not, but I just can't see shelling out several hundred dollars for this stuff. Just think  what kind of camera goodies you can get for that kind of dough!
So, being the cheap thrifty person that I am, I came up with a nifty little hack that works great for our little kitchen corner. Hey, my own little ikea hack! I love that site; if you don't know it and love ikea, go check it out. Ok, so here it is. No wait, I want to point out that the pictures were taken with my iPhone (not my Nikon) while working, so they're not the greatest, but you should get the idea. Ok, so here goes:

I started out with two FJÄLLSTA picture frames ($14.99 each) and one KVISSLE Wall Magazine Rack ($14.99). I used the black frames to match my whiteboard calendar I already had (I think I bought that at Walmart for around $10).
Then I took two of the racks and used needle-nosed pliers to pry off the little tab at the top. 
Since I'm not using the racks as intended (meaning interlocking all of them to make one big rack), I need the hole for a small screw to attach to the picture frame. Make sure the screw is short enough not to go through the frame!

The holes are pretty close to the top, so it shouldn't be too hard to attach them. I used a really long cross-tip drill-bit (a long screwdriver will do as well).

That's really all there is to it. You could leave the frames as-is and attach them to your wall. 
I used a current school picture for each of the kiddos and put the frame back together. That way everyone knows which frame is their's. (Note, thanks to hubby for being my hand model)

I found that the hardest thing about the whole project was getting it attached to the wall. 

And here it is--all finished. Bring on the paper piles :D

Oh, the magnetic board on the left is the SPONTAN, also from ikea for $12.99.  Well, that's my little ikea hack project. I hope you found it useful. If you did, feel free to leave some comment <3.



Keepin' it together

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I picked up another tip from Pinterest (boy, this just doesn't get old, does it?). It's a great way to make baked potatoes and you can find the recipe on SeasaltwithfoodThe first time I made these I had a little trouble with the cuts--it's really hard to stop just short of the bottom of the potato, especially if you have a really sharp knife :D

I usually ended up with two potato-halfes which I just pushed back together.
Then I had an idea. I wedged the potato between two chopsticks, so they stopped the knife on the down-cut keeping the potato in one piece. Brilliant!  I still need to improve on this method, as it got a bit hard to hold the two chopsticks together and holding on to the potato. Maybe I'll make a little potato-frame for next time.

Well, dinner turned out pretty well. Besides the awesome potatoes, I made some Schnitzel and everyone loved it! Mission accomplished.


Speedy Pancakes

Monday, May 21, 2012

Once again, I found some awesome recipes on Pinterest; like these Pop Up Pancakes from makes and takes. So I was all ready to try this one on Sunday, until I noticed that I didn't have enough eggs for the batter--Rats!
Well, not to be outsmarted by my evil fridge (don't ask, that's another story), I was determined to make these yummy Pancake-muffin goodies. Luckily had just discovered Organic Batter Blaster. I'd seen it at the store and just thought I'd try it--it's pancake batter in a can (kind of like whipped cream)! Also, it's a lot quicker than making it from scratch (score!) They came out awesome; everyone loved them and I'll definitely be making them again. Yay Pinterest!

Don't these look scrumptious?


Ready to take over the world

Sunday, April 8, 2012

They're done! My Easter Bunny Ear Cupcakes are done. YAY! And, I must say, they don't look half bad--of course they don't look as fabulous as the one's from the Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle blog, but not bad for a first. After the prep work on Friday, we got down to the decorating Saturday. The Royal icing came out great (couldn't get it any stiffer, I had to scrape it off the whisk), and Katie really enjoyed decorating the cookies we made from the dough we didn't need for the ears.

After the cupcakes were done, I noticed that I didn't have any black decorations for the bunny eyes, so they ended up pink--maybe the bunnies have springtime allergies :D
Anyway, here is the bunny army ready to take over the world. These are the good ones, I have another plate with the 'zombie' bunnies that didn't come out so good.

And here are some of the cookies we made too.

Can't you just taste all that sugary goodness? Happy Easter everyone!!


Hoppy Holidays

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The other day, I saw the cutest ever (I think) Easter cupcakes on Pinterest--where else? They are a bit more work to prepare than your ordinary cupcake, since the toppers, in this case the bunny ears, are made of cookies. But they look so stinkin' cute, I think I will do the extra step and make the cookies--it's not like they're going to waste, right? Well, not in in this house, let me tell you.
So, Katie and I started making the cookies yesterday; she was a big help and did all the measuring and most of the cookie cutting (and, of course, some of the tasting too--hey, we gotta make sure they're done right!)
We used the Basic Sugar Cookie recipe from the Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle site, which is a fabulous site; you should really go and check it out. The recipe is so simple and the cookies came out awesome!

Next, we'll make the Royal Icing (the recipe is also from the SugarBelle site) and prep the ears.

Stay tuned for updates on the cupcakes...


Color Spots March 12, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Aren't these old-timey Apothecary Jars awesome? You can put in anything from candy to your favorite shell collection. You can even get them monogrammed!

Source: Williams-Sonoma


Color Spots Mar 10, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This little scene warmed me up on this rainy, gloomy Northwest Saturday Morning. Can't you just feel the warm sunshine?

Source: Pottery Barn


i Heart faces Photo Challenge - Beautiful Black and White

Friday, March 9, 2012

There's a new challenge at i Heart faces called Beautiful Black and Whites. So I did a little studio session (on the floor next to my computer desk--very professional, don't cha know) and Katie did a little posing for me. I love that she is getting more into it now that she's seven!!! Eek, it seems like it was only a few weeks ago when we went on our Adoption Trip to China to bring our Katie home (*sniff)

Anyway, here is one of the shots I really like--we were going for dramatic black and white.

OMG, I just noticed that she's got sock-fuzz between her toes *groan*. I suppose I could go back and Photoshop it out :D
Photo Challenge Submission This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge –


Color Spots Mar 7, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I saw this lovely flower-entwined nest with chocolate truffle-filled eggs in my inbox this morning and instantly thought "ooohh, nice colors, that would make an excellent color spot!" Well, that and mmmm that looks yummy! It also gave me the perfect opportunity to try out the Instant ColorBar action  from the Coffeeshop Blog I downloaded a while ago and hadn't had the chance to use it--it' works fabulously, you should get it.

Source: Williams Sonoma


My Camera Bag

Monday, February 20, 2012

I've been wanting to do a what's in my camera bag post for a while now, so when I got my new Nikon D7000 this weekend (*happy dance* hello anticipated tax return!) I thought this was the time to do it.

I had this baby on my wish-list for quite some time now. The last time we checked prices was last Summer, but we couldn't fit it into the budget, so we decided to wait. After doing our taxes--the first time in a looong time that I actually got them done early (yay), we discovered that we'll actually get a refund (double-yay). Well, long story short, we managed to get one, which brings me to my first item in the bag--nice segway, eh? :D

I had been using the Nikon D90 for a while, so the D7000 was fairly easy to get used to. Most of the controls are either in the same place or have been moved for easier access. Since I'm not much for reading manuals (yawn), the first thing I did was watch an intro class for the D7000 on Now, if it would just stop raining, so I can go outside and play. Haha, living in the Pacific NW, I'll have to wait until April!

This was the first DSLR I had after some Point-and-shoot and bridge cameras. My hubby used it when I got the D90 and now that I have the D7000, the D90 went to hubbs and we'll probably use the D60 as a second body. It's an awesome starter camera and you can't beat the price.

This was the first prime lens I got after venturing into the DSLR world--and I love it! The pictures are very sharp and the bokeh is beautiful!

And this is the second prime lens I got. I love, love, love this lens. They don't call this the nifty fifty for nothing!

This is a great flash--very versatile--and it won't break the Mom-tog bank ;-)

Extension tubes are good for getting a little closer without using a macro lens. I got this shot using these tubes. (Warning, extreme spider close-up--don't look if you don't like creepy-crawlies!)

I love this thing! It's an awesome little diffuser that mounts in your hotshoe to use with your camera's built-in flash.

For food shots or studio portraits this kit does the job. I especially like the horizontal center column feature, which allows the center column to flip from vertical to horizontal.

Well, that's about it (the big stuff anyway); except for the actual bag, that is. I have several; my everyday bag/purse (the Classic Black from Kelly Moore), a weekend backpack (Sunpak Airbak Zoom Pack Small ) and the big, carry-all Mama-bag (the Juju also from Kelly Moore-if they're out of stock, which they very often are, try Amazon, this one's for when you need to bring everything).

Of course, there's always stuff on my wish-list, but I think I will be quite happy with the D7000 for some time. I'll just be drooling over lenses now (haha). I keep track of all the goodies I'd love to have on one of my Pinterest Boards, aptly named Gift Wish List :D.

If you're not familiar with Pinterest, check out my post from last September.


Color Spots Jan 14, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wow, my first post in the new year--and the month is already half over! Well, now that all the Christmas decorations have been packed and put away for next Christmas, I can concentrate on the upcoming task of the annual tax return (blech). Not a task I am looking forward to. Every year, I have every intention of doing it really early jut to get it done and out of the way, and then I end up scrambling the last week before the deadline to finish it! Well, not this year, she said with every confidence; this year will be different! No, really, I mean it!
These Banana Nut Muffins I found on the Betty Crocker site look like a welcomed distraction from the long, strenuous process of receipt organization and figuring out deductions. I bet you wondered how I was going to get from Taxes to food to Color Spots, didn't you? Easy, there is always a way to connect food to just about any task you can think of, right?


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