4.30.2014

Last Minute Kentucky Derby Hat

So, have I told you I don't wear hats?  I might pull on a ball cap or a beach hat, but I am not a fancy-schmancy hat kind of girl that looks glamorous in a big floppy number with a sundress.  I feel so dumb trying to pull it off! (**I'm sure there is some joke with the line "does this hat make my ass look big?" as a punchline)

I searched high and low to find a hat to wear to a Kentucky Derby Gala (to benefit Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, a great organization that provides residential homes for persons with disabilities).  After trying on more than a dozen different styles of hats, I realized I was never going to feel comfortable in anything large or "hat-like" that day.

I started to think about last year's Halloween costume and the hairpiece I wore that day...hmmm...

Then I thought about Princess Kate...



I wandered into Claire's looking for some sort of hairpiece that might pass for a hat. I ended up with $17 worth of hair clips as supplies to create my own "fascinator".

I ended up choosing two clips, one flat with feathers and one with loops of ribbon for some height:


I decided I was going to create  a "fascinator" that would match my dress since I had gone about things backward and chosen a dress before the hat...gasp!

I added 2 peacock feathers I already had at home to pick up the green in my dress and sandwiched them between the two hair clips then clipped the top clip to the bottom clip - It didn't even require glue so I can dissemble and use them again for another project or add different feathers to match another dress!


Here is a shot of the front and back in the mirror:


It clips in easy-peasy, I hardly even feel it!  It's like wearing a barrette so I'm totally comfortable and the green in the feathers matches my dress spot on!  Off the the Kentucky Derby...

4.29.2014

Tutorial Tuesday!

Edible Gumball Jewelry:
 

12 Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas:


Easy Dog Treats You Can Make:


Most Clicked Link: The wrong way to "Like" a Facebook Business Page

 Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios




4.28.2014

Blueberry Cake and Strawberry Shortcake Oatmeal

Last week I shared a recipe for Apple Pie Oatmeal that I LOVE!  Today, I wanted to show you how to vary the ingredients to make your own concoctions!

I use the basic Baked Oatmeal Recipe I adapted from Budget Bytes:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats 
For the Blueberry Cake, I combined the first 8 ingredients and whisked well. Then stirred in the oatmeal and finally folded in 1 cup of blueberries. Pour into a buttered dish and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

For the Strawberry Shortcake, I combined 2 cups of sliced strawberries + 1 Tbsp. corn starch + 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar then poured it into the bottom of a buttered baking dish.

I made the Baked Oatmeal recipe above and poured it over the berries and baked at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Try out some combinations of your own and report back!  I can't wait to hear the variations you come up with!

4.24.2014

I'm Addicted to Baked Oatmeal!


I found an awesome website called Budget Bytes a few weeks ago and I'm hooked on their Baked Oatmeal recipes! I started with the Apple Pie Oatmeal then began to adapt this recipe to make several flavors.  The website has several recipes for baked oatmeal including Banana Bread and Pumpkin Pie!

The cool thing about their recipes is that not only are they great tasting and photographed beautifully, but the cost per recipe and cost per serving is calculated for you, in case you are on a budget.

Let's make some oatmeal!

Apple Pie Oatmeal
(recipe adapted from budgetbytes.com)

Ingredients:
 
Apple Layer -
  • 2 medium apples (I used granny smith)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • ½ tsp cinnamon 
  • (the original recipe called for 1/8 tsp ground cloves - I left this out)
Oatmeal-
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar (the original recipe was a little sweet for me calling for 1/4 cup)
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut apples into cubes. Place them in a bowl along with the lemon juice, corn starch, 2 Tbsp brown sugar,  and ½ tsp cinnamon. Toss to coat. Place apple mixture in the bottom of a buttered 8×8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, apple sauce, vanilla, salt, baking powder, 3 tbsp. brown sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Add the milk then whisk. Stir in the dry oats.

Pour oatmeal mixture over the chopped apples in the dish.

Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees or until the top is light golden brown and no longer wet in the center. Cut into eight pieces and serve or refrigerate until ready to eat.

I have made this the night before and heated up servings in the microwave the next day and I have whipped it up in the morning to serve hot out of the oven.  Your house will smell divine!


I found this cool website (caloriecount.about.com) that will analyze your recipe for nutritional information and this is what I came up with:


I have been reading about brown rice syrup as a natural sweetener and I'm wondering if a substitution of this syrup or honey might help make this recipe even healthier!  I'll try it out and report back.

Come back on Monday to learn my two variations - Blueberry Cake Oatmeal and Strawberry Shortcake Oatmeal!

4.22.2014

Tutorial Tuesday!

In Door S'Mores:


Olaf T-Shirts:


Deep Clean Your Laptop:


Last Week's Most Clicked Link Travel Diaries - Paris



 Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios




4.18.2014

Easter Breakfast?


Check out these cute donuts my friend picked up from Dunkin'!  I might have an Easter breakfast plan...

4.17.2014

GIANT Buffalo Wings


My favorite part of the wing is the meaty mini-drumstick side - we all fight over those little morsels! Why not just make "wings" with full sized drumsticks?!?

*An added benefit is the fat content - 1 small chicken wing contains 81 calories and 5.4 g of fat vs. 1 small chicken drumsticks contains 81 calories and 4.2 g fat (source). More food! Less fat! I'm in!

Let's make GIANT Buffalo Wings!
(recipe adapted from About.com, Southern Food)

  • 2 to 3 pounds chicken legs, about 10 to 12 drumsticks
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I used about 1 or 2 Tbsp.)
  • 3 cloves garlic, put through a press or finely minced
  • 3/4 cup hot sauce, such as Frank's Red hot or Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
 Heat oven to 350°.

Line a large baking pan with foil and place a cooling rack in the pan.

Toss chicken with the olive oil and minced garlic. Arrange on the rack and bake for 30 minutes (I cooked mine right on my stoneware pan)


 Turn and bake for 20 minutes longer. Increase heat to 400° and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes longer, until nicely browned.

Combine the melted butter and hot sauce. Toss the hot drumsticks with the sauce mixture.

*I put them back in the oven again for about 5 mins. after this then brushed with sauce again before serving to really make it "stick".


4.15.2014

Tutorial Tuesday!

Carrot Cupcakes:



 Pull-Apart Easter Bread:



Lots of Peep links last week! Here is a Peep Round-up...

Peep Cake

Peep Candle Holder:





Peeps in a Nest:



Peep in a Car:


Last week's most clicked link:  

Bandana Dogs



Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog 

address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!




Hope Studios




4.13.2014

Easter Grass Wreath


I saw a tutorial for this wreath online and I cannot remember where! What in the world did we do to remember things before Pinterest?!?

So, thank you to the nice lady who showed me how to do this on a video where she complained about the light being to bright but she didn't want to re-record it...anyone? Anyone remember this video so I can give props to my Easter Grass Wreath girl??

***UPDATE: I just found it!!  CC Mcafee Perspective Blog! Thanks, girlfriend***

Anyway, it inspired me because I began to think about how this could be used after Easter and I thought it would be cool to set it out for the birds to use for nest supplies.  In fact, The Treat Girl told me this is exactly what happened when she tried to make this wreath  - the birds stole all the grass for nests!  I want pretty Easter grass nests around my house!

Ready?

Supplies:

18 inch straw wreath form
5 bags of assorted Easter grass colors
Floral U pins

Instructions:

Remove all of the grass from the bags and mix together so you have a nice mix of colors:


Grab bunches of grass and pinch between your fingers like this:


Attach the bunch to the straw wreath with the U pin by trying to grab most of the grass in the center, push pin into wreath:


Add bunches of grass in the same way next to each other like this:



Continue to add bunches next to each other until the straw wreath is covered:


Once the straw wreath form is covered with the Easter grass, begin to shape the wreath by pulling the extra-long pieces of grass from the edges of the wreath to the back of the wreath. Pin the extra grass in the back to keep the shape of the wreath. Do the same thing in the center. I left some pieces sticking out for a more natural shape.

Tada! This cute little wreath cost me about 10 bucks!


When Easter is over, I'm going to hang this in the trees for the birds to use for nest building supplies. If I find a super-cute-easter-grass-bird-nest this spring I am sooooo taking a picture for you!

4.11.2014

ANOTHER Teenager??


I have another teenager in the house and I can't believe it! My middle son turned 13 on the day of my sister's wedding last weekend and was served birthday cake by a lady in white.

I always say that time flies and when I look at my kids I realize that is so true.  How can this much time have passed so quickly? I hate to say it, but all those who doled out advice about "cherish all these moments because they will be grown before you know it" were right!

13 years ago we had the sweetest baby who came into this world with a mighty bellow - no sweet baby cries for him! He roared into the room with a great wail then settled in to be a kind, gentle boy.  He has always been the kind of kid to think of others, give up the best seat if his brother was crying, hand someone else the larger piece of cake...

These days he is always the smallest kid in the room with the biggest heart. He loves his sports and plays like a giant on the field: 



And on the mat:
 

And with his stick:


And patiently waits for his delayed growth spurt to hit while keeping his sense of humor:


My boy is small but mighty and we love him so much...

4.10.2014

A Simple Wedding



My sister was married over the weekend in a beautiful ceremony that took place in Bald Eagle State Park.  There is a Nature Inn on the grounds that provided the perfect location for her simple, nature themed wedding.


The colors were green, peach, ivory and the tables were set with burlap runners, lanterns, ceramic birds, and jars of wildflower seeds for each guest that served as place cards:



Terrariums filled with ferns and moss served as a centerpiece:


The back of each chair was tied with layered tulle and burlap with a spray of baby's breath tucked into the center:


Bouquets were stuffed with flowers and succulents, stems wound in burlap:


The bride and groom were seated in front of the roaring stone fireplace at their own table covered with burlap, lace doilies, sumptuous green pillows, and Mr. and Mrs. tags:


The proposal "Will You Marry Me"? was photographed in the sand and served as a centerpiece to the room on the giant wood beam mantle:


Finally a duet began to play as the bride and groom made their way down the aisle:


It was a lovely day...


Your Skin Fix, December Edition