Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Minute New Year's Eve Party Ideas

It's New Year's Eve! If you're hosting a party tonight, I have some simple recipe, drink, and DIY ideas for you!

1.) Recycled New Year's Garland (made with old Christmas gift bags)

Monday, December 29, 2014


1.) Christmas cookie baking.
2.) The new Dunkin Donuts in Long Beach. Luckily, after some controversy, the franchise owner agreed to restore and keep the giant donut instead of tearing it down. Read about it here.
3.) Autumn at it's peak in my neighborhood.
4.) My beef tamales.
5.) En route to a Laker game.
6.) Christmas morning.
7.) A Sonny Angel doll from the Ladurée Pâtisserie Collection.
8.) More Christmas baking.
9.) The LA Zoo before a Christmas light show.
10.) A mini mason jar display I made to go with my others
11.) A photo from the local gem faire.
12.) Some tasty ramen on a rainy day.
13.) Patchwork Santa Ana.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

DIY: Christmas Car Ornaments

These ornaments are really simple and so cute! Not only do they make perfect little gifts but they're inexpensive. Read on to learn how to make your own.

What you'll need:

  • little cars (you can find them at a dollar store, I already had a few of them)
  • small trees (I got mine at Jo-Anns)
  • twine
  • hot glue
  • brown paper
  • scissors

Start by cutting the bottoms off of your trees.

Cut tiny pieces of brown paper and hot glue them to the bottom of your trees to form an X. Now they look a little more realistic.

Use your twine to tie your little trees to your cars and create a loop for hanging. That's it!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

DIY: Mason Jar Winter Wonderland

These little Christmas display mason jars are really simple to make and would be a cute hostess gift for a holiday party. I got almost everything I needed for these at Dollar Tree. Read on to learn how to make your own!

What you'll need:
  • large mason jars
  • small Christmas trees
  • some sort of Styrofoam or floral foam
  • toothpicks
  • fake snow (I got mine at Jo-Anns)
  • spray paint
  • tiny animals or toys
  • twine or ribbon
  • scissors
  • small ornaments

Start by painting the mason jar lids.

While the lids dry you can fill your jars. Cut a small flat piece of foam for the bottom of the jar and attach the animals and trees with toothpicks.

Put all of the items in the jars and then cover them with snow until the foam is hidden. Use a stick or scissors to knock the snow off of the trees.

Screw the lids on and tie the ornaments around the top of the jar using twine. You can also attach a gift tag.

You can make little scenes using all sorts of items. The possibilities are endless!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Breakfast with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Looking for something to make this weekend with your Thanksgiving leftovers? These "pancakes" are simple and really, really good!

  • mashed potatoes
  • shredded turkey
  • stuffing
  • fresh parsley
  • one egg
  • salt and pepper

Your staples for these cakes are turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. I used about a cup of each and it made 4 cakes. 

Add one egg, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix it all up and form your cakes. Fry them in a little bit of canola oil.

Top your cakes with a fried egg. I used the Pioneer Woman's method to make these sunny side up eggs. Learn about that here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies

I found this recipe for chocolate cookies on Pinterest over the weekend and made them for my dad's birthday. If you're a chocolate fan, you'll definitely want to give these a try. They are so good.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix the butter and the sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

Combine flour, cocoa, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips. The dough will be very stiff.

Form the the dough into balls and put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake them at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy these with a big glass of milk. They're so good warm!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

DIY: Scrapbook

Over the summer my friend Jess and I took a mini road trip to Vegas (read about it here). It was so much fun. So, for Jess' birthday I made her this little scrapbook of our adventure. It was a lot of fun to make! The covers are made from the backs of legal pads and I ordered our Instagram prints from Prinstagram. I highly recommend them! Read on to learn how to make your own.

What you'll need:
  • the backs of two legal pads (or some thin cardboard)
  • photos
  • cardstock for the pages
  • patterned paper (to add some embellishments)
  • stickers (optional)
  • felt (about 1/2 a yard)
  • twine or ribbon
  • strong hole punch or ice pick to make the holes
  • scissors
  • x-acto knife
  • ruler
  • hot glue
  • pencil

Instead of showing you all of the steps I took to actually create the book, I've decided to attach the video I followed. This step-by-step video makes it easy.

As you can see, I decided to make my scrapbook square. Obviously, you can make it any size or shape you like but I thought the square photos looked nice in a square book.

And here is a shot of each page. I put the book together in chronological order.

So there you have it! Our road trip scrapbook! I can't wait to make another one!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

DIY: Plush Toadstool

I made this plush toadstool for my friend Faby recently so I took some step by step photos to share with you guys. I found an awesome pattern for a toadstool pincushion and blew it up to about 300%. Click here for the original pattern and an illustrated tutorial.

What you'll need:
  • red felt (about 1/4 yard)
  • white felt (about 1/2 yard)
  • green felt (about 1/8 yard)
  • scissors
  • needle and thread and/or sewing machine
  • hot glue
  • Polyfil

Start by taking a look at the original tutorial and familiarizing yourself with the directions. The pattern is available there too. I downloaded it, blew it up to about 3 times the original size and then printed it. After that I cut out all of the pieces. You'll need: 4 red rounded triangles, 1 cap bottom, 1 stalk, 1 stalk base, lots of dots for the top (I made mine different sizes), and some grass (cut it to be exactly like the stalk and then cut thin triangles off the top so it looks like grass).

Sew two triangles together (one side only) and then sew the other two triangles together (also one side only).

Open the pieces, lay them flat (one on top of the other), and sew those together. It should look like the photo below at this point.

At this point you can turn it right side out and sew the spots on but I decided to just hot glue them on later. Now, the cap should be inside out for this part. Baste the bottom of the cap to the top.

Sew the bottom to the top.

Flip it right side out and stuff it.

Take the stalk and sew the sides together so it looks like a tube. Turn it right side out. At this point I stopped using my machine. Hand sew the stalk to the top. I used the ladder stitch. Stuff the stalk.

Use the ladder stitch to sew the base to the stalk.

Now it's time for the grass and the dots. I hot glued them on but obviously you could sew them on if you like.

That's it! It's not a simple project but it's sure worth the effort.