Monday, November 26, 2012

Sand Paper Nails.

I've seen a lot of different nail polish techniques and tutorials and they always seem so complicated. Considering my nail polish lasts approximately 4 hours one day before it begins to chip, I really don't feel the need to spend so much time on my 10 little nails for a day's worth of enjoyment.

However, sometimes I get creative and think of ways to make it fun... even if it only lasts a little while.

Based on the "velvet" technique of using flocking powder, I came up with this little gem. The same day I did this technique I also did a finger with the flocking powder, and I love it! But it seems perfect for a later time... Christmas!

So onto my pride and joy... SAND PAPER NAILS!

What do you think? They actually feel like sand paper! It's pretty neat!

Also! Please check out the NEW NEW NEW "Pin it" button on my blog. There is one at the bottom of this post as well as on the right side of this page at the top. I encourage you to "pin" my posts and share them with your friends. I love hearing from new readers! And I'm at like 97,975 page views and it's kind of a big deal for me. I can't wait to hit 100,000!!!

Happy sand papering!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cleaning a Keurig.

Last year for Christmas my in-laws gifted me a Keurig coffee maker. I was on cloud 9!

I've used it daily ever since. Coffee, tea, I've made it all. Even the hubs has used it for his tea fixes.

What I haven't done is clean it yet. Yea, in a whole year, I've never cleaned the needle. As if she was reading my mind, my friend Kelly sent me an email yesterday with a link to a video on how to clean your Keurig properly. Excellent!

I just finished watching the video, then went into the kitchen and cleaned the needle, and it really was as easy as it looks. If your water stream is slowing or straight up not filling as quickly, this might be your remedy!

Check it out and go get to cleaning that machine!

Happy coffee making!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Broccoli Salad.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

This year I am especially thankful to have my family surrounding me. Mike and I have had a rough last few months and today I get to spend some time with my loves and eat good turkey! My grandparents who usually travel back and forth from Texas are here this year and Grandma is making turkey like it should be! 

She designated me as the broccoli salad maker for today. Little did she know I've never made broccoli salad... until NOW! 

Is broccoli salad REALLY salad?!

Like a typical person with too many cookbooks to list, I resorted to Google. I always forget I have those things in my kitchen! I typed in "broccoli salad recipe" and was there to greet me. I found this simple broccoli salad recipe and printed it immediately. 

Fresh Broccoli "Salad"

2 heads fresh broccoli
1 red onion
1/2 pound bacon
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Step 1. Cook the bacon, don't burn yourself with the grease, and let it all cool. Crumble it into pieces! This part is fun except for getting greasy fingers. Yuck. 

Step 2. Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Add it to a bowl with the bacon. Next, cut the onion into thin bite-size slices mince the onion and add it to the bowl. Who are we kidding? Bite sized onion?? Yowzas. Especially since I used white onion, not red. I love my family, enough not to torture them =)

Step 3. Skip the nuts. This is important if you have a brother-in-law-to-be who has a nut allergy. Like I said, I love my family. Don't want to kill them.

Step 4. Throw in the raisins. 

Step 5. Prepare the dressing by combining the mayo, sugar and [nasty smelling] white wine vinegar until smooth. 

Step 6. Pour that goo all over the bowl of "salad" and stir it all together until everyone is happy. 

Step 7. Transfer the "salad" to a prettier bowl (this is an optional step that I added), let it chill out, cool off, and think about what it's done! 

Oh, and then serve it to your lovely family and smile. The smile is the most important part. If you frown, your family will think something is up. And nothing's up. 

Happy Turkey Day!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Baby stat board.

On November 2nd, my awesome niece turned THREE! If you had asked her the weekend before, however, she would have told you she was going to be FIVE. She's silly.

Months before her birthday, I found a craft on [but of course] Pinterest that piqued my interest! Some girl was selling these boards on Etsy for an outrageous amount. I knew I could do it for cheaper than buying, so I did!

Afterall, I only needed mod podge and a piece of wood to fit. I made my own pod modge by combining equal parts of Elmer's glue and water in the glue bottle. It stores nicely and it's much cheaper than trotting my booty down to Michael's to buy a bottle. 

I started with the design, got all her "stats" on there... birth date, time, weight, length and most importantly HER NAME. 

Our cat, Stompers, was my personal assistant that day, seen on left. 

I printed the page and gathered the rest of the supplies: Homemade Mod Podge, a cheap brush, sand paper (not pictured) and a board or piece of wood.

The board needed to be cut to fit the paper. I don't YET own my own electric saw, so the manual method had to work. 

Next, I applied a coat of mod podge to the board.

Important to note is that I used entirely too much of the mod podge. After the final product dried it was apparent that the glue saturated the ink on the print too much and the colors began to bleed. So I recommend not using this much...

I spread the mixture evenly on the board with the brush.

Then I placed the print on the board, and smoothed out any creases I saw.

Next step required letting it dry, followed by a final coat of mod podge on top. I'm not sure this 2nd coat is necessary. I made another project using this process last night and I'm beginning to think I could do without the 2nd coat. Much of the mod podge bleeds through the paper and it's pretty darn secure with just the first coat. I suppose, that's your decision to make.

All the 2nd coat did for this project was bleed the ink. After it was fully dry, the middle part of the print had a pink hue to it from the "audra mae" ink.

Once it is completely dry, the fun part of trimming begins. I had paper that hung over the edges of the wood. That's okay, because you'll sand them away.

How much you sand is your preference. I sanded quite a bit into the print as well as created my own "imperfections" throughout. I liked the way it made it look.

Last weekend, for Audra's birthday I got to give her this for her brand new bedroom at my sister and brother-in-law's new house. She wasn't as thrilled about it as she was about her other gift from Mike and me, her new Airwalk [fake-Ugg] boots that she immediately had to try on, but my sister and mom loved this piece of work.

As I mentioned, last night I made a similar project with this process. I will share it on here once I gift it to my in-laws. And since my mother-in-law reads this blog, I'll stop there. No more clues.

Happy mod podge-ing!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hike Kings Mountain.

In my last post, I talked about how my husband and I went on a helicopter ride in South Carolina. On the last day of vacation, we were in North Carolina with Mike's brother and decided to go hiking on Kings Mountain.

My man found himself a nice big walking stick.

And we were off!

Most of the hike was seen from this view... Mike's brother's back side. He does this hiking thing just about every weekend, so he's a pro. He keeps quite the pace!

Like the pace that might cause a gal that suffers from asthma in combination with high altitude to go into an attack. Yea, no big deal. I survived. But it was a fun 5 minutes while I got my wheezing under control and took a drink of water. We kept on going and an hour later we finally made it to the top.

One look around and it hits you... WHOA. GORGEOUS. God's creation on display.

There were quite a few groups of hikers and I walked around to a few and took group pictures for them (because generally I can't not talk to strangers). I feel bad for moms and dads with their kids who rarely get a pic of all of them together, so I like to help where I can. I also snapped a shot of the brothers.

And we took in the magnificent view.

Another check on my list of things I've never done, that now I have done. Trying new things really has broadened my mind. I'd love love love to go hiking again! Next time I'll bring my inhaler.

Happy hiking!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Helicopter, helicopter over my head.

I've flown in an airplane more times than I can count. Trips to and from Texas, Florida, New York, California... Hawaii! But I've never ridden in a helicopter. When I was about 10 years old, I got to take a ride in a small plane that my great uncle piloted. That's about as small as I've been in.

While in South Carolina on vacation with my husband, we decided to go on a helicopter ride. The last time we were there I begged and begged to do it, but he wasn't so sure. This time, he came mentally prepared to do it since he knew it meant a lot to me.

It was a beautiful day for a helicopter ride!

I was a little nervous at first. I mean, you never know if you'll be the next "freak accident" that nobody sees coming. We booked our flight online (which got us preference when we arrived) and drove to the Huffman Helicopters site.

My stomach was in knots as we walked into the office to check in. I was watching the promo tv screens in the lobby (and in the BATHROOM!) while Mike paid. Then they weighed us. Oy... I had to remind myself the extra poundage was due to it being mid-day and wearing clothes and having just eaten lunch... yea, right, that's it! Not the endless seafood buffets and wine every evening on vacation...

Either way, we both were deemed not too fat to ride and we were taxied to the landing pad.

We climbed in and I instantly started taking pictures! Our pilot's name was Brandon.

He was very gentle with us. We got to wear the head sets so he could talk to us and we could talk to each other.

Then we took off! It was weird, the feeling of the helicopter's stability. I felt safe, but I felt like I could fall out of the sky at any second.

We got to see a great view of the Myrtle Beach coastline.

It was so much fun!!

I am very happy that I got the opportunity to take the ride. It was something I've always wanted to do. I love this 2012 journey of Trying New Things. I'm expanding my skills and interests.

Coming up next... Hiking Kings Mountain in South Carolina on our last day of vacation!