Monday, January 31, 2011

DIY Coasters: Round 2

I decided after I made the ones for Christmas, I wanted to make some for myself!

These coasters were even easier than the ones I made as gifts. This idea came from my good friend Leah over at Living Life Crafty.

All you need are medium tiles (about 4x4), ModPodge, pretty paper, felt, and waterproof sealant.

I cut the paper to the size of the tiles and ModPodged them down. I put a layer on top also.
Once it dried, I sprayed them with the waterproof sealant. Then once that part dried, I stuck on little felt furniture discs (at first I hot glued felt on but it didn't stick).

Cute, super easy, and cheap :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

She Said "YES!"

It is official- I am engaged!

My boyfriend of almost 5 years, David Ranalli (yes, the magician), purposed to me last night.

While we were out to dinner with my dad, step mom, and friend, our friends snuck into our apartment and decorated it in black, white, and Tiffany's blue. IT LOOKED AMAZING!

"Love always and forever"

They also went to my favorite bakery in Carbondale (Larry's House of Cakes) and ordered my favorite cookies <3 Among other amazing desserts.


So... as I walked into the door after dinner, my friends turned on the lights and yelled "surprise!"

Of course, I freaked out. I had no flippin' idea what was going on.

Then... it happened.

It was so perfect.

The ring is breath-taking.

Emerald- cut is my ultimate favorite. It's so classic and beautiful.

I really couldn't be happier! David is a wonderful man and I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him.

Est. 2006

Monday, January 24, 2011

educ8kdz New Orleans Trip

So I know I haven't blogged in what seems like forever, but with the start of the new semester- there's very little free time.

I needed to grab everyone's attention for a moment about the new widget I have positioned on the right side of my page. It's an IndieGoGo site that I created to raise money for educ8kdz to go to New Orleans this April.

If we make it to New Orleans, we will be building schools, playgrounds, and helping out the community in any way possible. The trip is a week long and 12 of us are going, which means it's a bit expensive.

Please donate what you can to help us help the children and families of New Orleans :)

Help spread the word of this great cause by sharing on your social sites :) Or blogging about it... whatever floats your boat!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

HOO Are You?

These questions are part of a weekly "HOO Are You?" Session that Night Owl Crafting does! How fun!

1. Are you fond of cooking?

I LOVE to cook! I wish I had more time for it, and a better place to buy ingredients (Carbondale has Walmart... that's about it).

2. What kind of food do you prefer eating when you are out? 

I'd have to say Thai is my favorite food and that's usually my choice when not eating at home.

3. Which do you prefer, sweet or salty?

Sweet AND salty. Perfect example- sea salt brownies. YUM!

4. Where is the last place you ate out at?

Last night my mom, Bob, and I went to Houlihan's.

5. What's for dinner tonight?

Tonight... possibly homemade turkey meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Now it's your turn! Simply go here:


Answer the questions and link up your blog! :)

Food Review (First Ever!)

Since my current projects have come to a halt, I decided to do a mini food review!

The restaurant I am reviewing is:

Hot Doug's

For Chicago people, such as myself, "Hot Doug's" is a well-known joint to get some out-of-the-ordinary cased meats (in other words, sausages).

First up, David and I tried the "Brown Ale and Chipotle Buffalo Sausage with Guinness Stout Mustard and Port Derby Cheese"

The buffalo sausage itself was hearty and flavorful, but the combination of the cheese (which tasted like bleu cheese to me) and the mustard could have been left out. I feel like one or the other should have been used, but possibly not as a combination. The sausage did not taste out of the ordinary, even though it was buffalo. It tasted similar to a pork and beef mix sausage.

Next up- "The Mountain Man Sausage with Blackberry Mustard and Goat Cheese".

This was definitely the first (and last) time I had a sausage made from venison, buffalo, antelope, and elk. Personally, I was not a fan of the gamey flavor of the sausage, as well as the combination of blackberry mustard and goat cheese. I can see the sausage being a little better with just the blackberry mustard, but the goat cheese ruined the flavor for me all together (and I am usually a fan of goat cheese). Be brave to try this one.

Last, but not least- "Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse and Fleur de Sel"

This one was hands down my favorite of the day (possibly of all time). The duck sausage was at the same consistency of a chicken sausage (very little fat content). The foie gras mousse was smooth and full of flavor. If you like the consistency of liver, you will like the mousse. The fleur de sel (a fancy way of saying sea salt), topped it off with subtleness that was still recognized, but not too salty at all. This was definitely a hunk of protein with a delicate liver flavor that was creamy and special.


If you are in Chicago, make sure you check this place out. Doug, who owns and works there, has specials every week (this week being the Mountain Man). You will be sure to find something you like in the world of incased meats. Make sure not to go during the typical "lunch time"- it gets packed.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Trendy Blog Award!!

I am very thrilled to say that I was awarded the "Trendy Blog" award by my good friend Leah over at Living Life Crafty!

Check out her stuff, she has some great crafts! A wide variety of topics that everyone can enjoy :)


This is such a cute idea!

My winners for the Trendy Blog award go to:

1. Sara @ Sara's Closet
2. The Tootsie Wootsie
3. Ceal @ Simply Beautiful
4. Bev @ Flamingo Toes
5. Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder
6. Frilly Details
7. Michelle @ Polka Dots and Pizza
8. Maggie @ Smashed Peas and Carrots
9. Titti @ Shoestring Pavilion
10. Jenna @ The Mommy Diaries

To grab the button, go HERE!

But... there is a catch! In order to receive this award you must-

Post about your award on your blog and the person who gave it to you 
- List your Top 10 Trendy Blogs 
- Share with them they won the award 
- Leave a link to the Trendy Blog Button (so they can grab it too)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Eve Hats!

This year, I wanted to create some New Year's Eve wear myself (for that unique affect). Little did I know how EASY it was!

I went to Target and bought a pack of cheap Birthday cone hats (8 for $2). I went home and unraveled the hat, traced it on the paper of my choice, and fastened it together with staples and tape.

So simple, right?

Here are my products-

It reads, "Happy New Years!"

My personal favorite

Derek as my model

Simple, cheap, easy, and fun! Hope everyone has a great 2011!

Monday, January 3, 2011

DIY Coasters

Since I came down with the stomach flu, I have a lot time to sit around and relax. I thought I would post the coasters I did for both of my parents for Christmas. The idea came from Joy Is At Home... I love her blog :)

To start, I bought some terra cotta planter bases (they were about $3 for a pack of 6 at Hobby Lobby). I spray painted them primer, then with rubbed bronze.

Then I cut out some pretty papers with the Cricut (about 2" circles) and Mod Podged them down. I applied a light coat of Mod Podge on top also.

After the Mod Podge dried, I applied a coat of water proof sealant.

I hot glued some felt that I cut up along the bottom.

They made great gifts, both of my parents seemed to like them. I tried my best to match them to my parents' decor.

Super cute and easy :)