Craft Night: Macarons!

April 30, 2015

We're now officially celebrating our FOURTH craft night!!!! So exciting. It's been so much fun getting together with friends, sipping wine and talking.

This month we decided to give a go at the infamous macaron. Known to be finicky, we had heard many a horror story about failure after failure when attempting this fickle cookie.
I'm happy to say that it was mostly a success! We learned somethings along the way. Like a standing mixer is best but a hand mixer will do as well. Over mixing the egg whites and the powdered ingredients can happen in literally a matter of seconds. Turning the oven to 350 like it says in the recipes will cause your bottoms to burn. And when piping on your filling DON'T hold your cookie from the top and bottom.
Get all my tips and see our progress below!
They didn't all turn out so pretty but I'd say we definitely avoided the dreaded "craft fail".
Start by tracing circles onto parchment paper. They don't have to be perfect. Just enough to tell you where not to go over the line. I've heard silpats are best. Some of them even have the circles drawn on for your already!
Start sifting your almond meal and confectioners sugar. Some of us used this nifty hand sifter bought at Home Goods.

Chiffon Cardigan Free Pattern in Spring Spree

February 19, 2015

I don't know about you but I'm more than ready for this winter to be over. Don't get me wrong I get excited at the prospect of an impending snow storm but what I really want is to go outside without a jacket. To wear breezy clothing and to smell the spring air.
When I saw this material at Hancock Fabric I immediately knew what it was destined for- this lovely, loose, delicate chiffon cardigan. Great for a dainty coverup and SO STINKIN' EASY TO MAKE. 
I'd say you could make this cardigan in just an hour if you're good at cutting chiffon. The hardest part of this cardigan is cutting the chiffon. Seriously. That's it. The whole pattern is just two pieces. The body and the sleeve. Just under one yard of fabric used. You could probably try this pattern out with some left over chiffon in your stash just to see if it works for you.
I love how this cardigan is long yet delicate. It helps to avoid the frumpy look that you can sometimes get with long cardigans. It's so breezy you could even wear this in the summer, especially in the evenings.
I added the bauble fringe to the edges. I think it helps define the shape of the cardigan. If you simply used chiffon it might look a little too invisible. I also love how this cardigan looks while you're standing in sunlight. So romantic. It's just a shame I could take some outdoor pictures so you could get a good look at how gorgeous it looks in the sun.
Here's the free pattern:
Copy Shop Free Pattern

Bling Treats: Valentines with Free Printable

February 13, 2015

I love doing some fun for Valentine's. See some of my previous year's treats. 2014 Fortune Cookie Fruit Rollups, 2013 Mustache Lollipop Printables, 2012 Scratch Off Valentines, 2011 3D Lollipop Cards.
This year was no different. I love using disco dust and chocolate. It's just so fun. Everyone is always so intrigued.
Using simple silicone molds you can make all sort of cool chocolate treats.
I've seen people use plain brown or white chocolate to make these gems but I think the peanut butter chocolate is best. This ring above lost a lot of glitter on the sides but you can barely tell because the peanut butter candy melts are such a close match to the gold. I realize that some people are allergic to peanut butter but like I said you can make these with any candy melt. If you're making these for a group of people I recommend getting some white chocolate and make a few for anyone with peanut allergies.
I made a few of these for my friends at my Mothers of Preschoolers group. They loved them.
It might also be fun to use multi-colored rings and different colors of disco dust to match.
Don't they look so pretty all lined up?

Two Sisters Heart Blouse Free Pattern: Chevron Blushes

February 12, 2015

Just in time for Valentine's Day is another free pattern for your little loved one. Cute Valentine cut out backed peplum blouses in two sizes for two sisters;-)
Lily and Molly wanted something special to wear for Valentine's Day. Rather than go down to Target and pick something easy I decided to make something homemade with a free pattern instead. I got the fabric at JoAnn's Fabric.
I used a ribbed tank top underneath since it seemed a little riske to have the kids showing off a bare back at school;-) But the tank tops were perfect and can be found at Target.
There are two patterns. One I made to fit Lily who's 10 and the other to fit Molly who's 7. For the pattern I lengthened Lily's blouse about 1" longer than the one in the photos as I thought it came out a little short. However, my kids are super tiny for their age. If you want to make these blouses for your kids first take their waist measurement and make sure it matches the pattern so you don't end up making one too tiny. Lily's pattern has a 26.5" waist and Molly's pattern has a 22.5" waist. Each pattern has left a little room so it's not too tight. On an average sized child I'd say these might be more of a fit for an 8 and 5 year old. You can always widen the pattern to suit your child.
I handmade the buttons myself. I recovered fabric buttons. It's a bit tedious but they comes out looking so good. I was able to handmake Lily's gold buttons and gold piping which goes around her heart. Here's a great tutorial on Instructables which shows you how.
Print at Home Free Heart Blouse Pattern Waist: 26.5"
Print at Home Free Heart Blouse Pattern Waist: 22.5"
Copy Shop Free Heart Blouse Pattern Waist: 26.5"
Copy Shop Free Heart Blouse Pattern Waist: 22.5"

Tutorial below:

Amazing Microwaved Desserts: Turkish Delight

February 3, 2015

Over the weekend Eloise and I did a little cooking together. Well, I don't know if you'd call it cooking since there was no stove involved but there were ingredients and we did have a sweet treat in the end.
I used to eat Turkish Delight as a small child when my mother took me out to the mall and she'd buy it from the candy kiosks. Most people have heard of Turkish Delight from the famous Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe book. In case you don't know what it is, it's a very sticky jelly like candy that's coated in confectioners sugar.

These Boots Were Made for Stylin'

January 29, 2015

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by DSW via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of DSW.

One pair of cute boots deserves more than just one outfit! It’s just too fun pairing these boots with various looks. The black booties from DSW really popped next to these bright orange tights. And my fur lined leather boots took center stage with this comfy and simple jean and white tee pairing.
For more looks, check out all the new inventory at DSW! I’m going shelling next month at the island of Chincoteague and am quite interested in these waterproof knee high snow boots. Do you have any special occasions coming up? DSW has all the styles you’re looking for just a click away.

DSW is the destination for savvy Shoe Lovers everywhere. Customers experience a breathtaking assortment of designer brands at irresistible prices everyday.

Amazing Microwaved Desserts: 5 Minute Fudge

January 26, 2015

I currently working on a difficult pattern that's taking some time as well as a lot of forced motivation on my part so as I'm working through that I wanted to share something I made over the weekend. 5 Minute Microwaved Fudge! I originally got this idea from a chocolate version on About.com food. I'll post the video below but here's how I made a peanut butter version. What's so amazing about this recipe is that you don't have to boil anything or use a candy thermometer. Just a plain ol' microwave will do.

First take 3 cups peanut butter chips

 
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