Thursday, October 31, 2013

Please Don't Feed The Models and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

The pictures we've all been waiting for... HAPPY HALLOWEEN from my sweet as pie trick-or-treaters! 


 This little sweetie was the reason for these creations to begin with and she totally rocked her Blueberry Pie costume today at day care :) You can't even tell in this picture how much she did not like it, so props to the people who captured this pic pre-tears! Oh and check out all that Blue & White....

WE ARE!!!  
(sometime I just can't help myself)

I can't even tell you how much I love these girls! Apparently they're the only 12-year-olds in town who don't think it's appropriate to dress like a "sexy" insert animal here.

They also asked my dad to take them out trick-or-treating because he (at 6'7 and close to 300 lbs) "would keep all the kids in the neighborhood safe." I'm so proud of them for being smart and safe and confident enough to not care if that is what's "cool."

Let's be honest though, they make these pies look hot!

Meanwhile - back at the ranch... I rocked my skull scarf and Jay wore his black Spiderman t-shirt... that was about the extent of our festiveness and I didn't even get a picture (we suck). But we made a strong recovery with these...

No shame... giant candy came complete with his campaign stickers. Since we half-assed our Halloween decor (and I mean not a single pumpkin to be seen at this joint - fail!) Jay stocked up the cooler with ice and cans of hard cider and beer while I hand wrote our ghetto sign and held it up with washi tape and snagged the candle off our mantle so the parents could see the sign from the sidewalk. Apparently, our set up was still the best house in the neighborhood so we call it a success!

Happy Halloween!!!

disclaimer: next year's decorations will be better and presentation will be more festive (when we aren't renovating our house, getting married, and running for office)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Easy as Pie - the baker does it again

A few weeks ago I finished the Blueberry Pie for Little Miss Kiera! I CANNOT WAIT to see her in the costume and wish they lived closer so I could see it in real life...  Although I hear that she doesn't really want anything to do with wearing the costume, especially not the headband, so maybe it's a blessing in disguise and I can live blissfully ignorant and pretend that she absolutely adores every inch of the costume!! Thank God for Facebook, Instagram and text messages is all I have to say!

I had some extra felt from the project and my sister, liked the costume so much, she asked me if I could make her one. Of course I said yes and asked what kind she wanted to be - apple, cherry, pumpkin, blueberry? Miss Cara wanted to be a pecan pie... sure! wait... what? 12-year-olds know what Pecan Pie is?

A few days later, she texted me and asked if I could make her friend a pumpkin pie... Did I mention yet that our wedding is only 5 weeks away!?!?!?!

Yea, I'm nuts... so off I went to Jo-Ann, coupons in hand and app on phone... to get some supplies to make the girls their costumes.

They don't carry large nuts (hahaha... couldn't resist) at the craft and fabric store - who knew? But all their fall trim and flowers were 70% off so I snagged  few things and managed to come up with this little head band for Cara. I think I used 3 different stems to get this guy just right but I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVE the way it turned out. I used $1-ear warmers so they don't freeze while trick-or-treating.

They also don't carry any 'pecan' fabric - shock of my life...but the 2 fabrics I found worked great with the goodies for the headband- one is brown with orange, yellow, and glittery gold teeny maple leaves on it which made for the perfect base of the pie. The other one, which I used to make the pecans, is yellow and orange oak leaves with brown acorns on a rusty colored background.

I cut out some pecan shapes from the extra felt and glued the fabric to them so that they would stand out a little on the pie. I even made the girls matching gloves because it's been pretty chilly here this week and I couldn't resist... plus they were only a dollar.

For the pumpkin pie costume, I knew I had to get this glittery pumpkin from Wal-Mart for the headband. I had seen it MONTHS ago and almost bought a whole array of them for our house (because it's totally normal to decorate a house that is completely under construction) but I didn't... last week I had to go to 3 different stores to find the damn thing! Because if you want pumpkins, you have to buy them in August. If you wait tilt he last week of October, your shit outta luck because all you will find is Christmas decorations and, maybe, some Halloween costumes that no one wanted.

I did find one though, buried in the bottom of a box underneath the rest of the left-over fall decor. SCORE!
Glued that baby to the headband and made some little pumpkin gloves for Clara too!

The pumpkin fabric is super cute (my mom's going to make little valances for my kitchen with what I have leftover) and all I needed to finish this one off was a "crust" pumpkin cut out for the middle of it.

I cannot wait to see the girls all dressed up! I'm sure they will do the costumes wayyyy more justice than I am in the pictures!

Happy Halloween!!!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Easy as Pie... sort of

A few weeks back, my cousin sent me a text asking if I could help her make a costume for her beautiful baby girl who has an obsession for Bette Midler like none other... I don't know first hand, but I've heard that new parents will do just about ANYTHING to get their babies to stop crying/fussing and to go to sleep.

Enter Bette with "Blueberry Pie"... it's pretty catchy... and who doesn't love pie?

So I got to work... I was bad at taking step by step pictures, but here's a sort-of-tutorial in case you want to make your own pies... or in case your 12-year-old sister and her friend decide they also want to be pies for Halloween and you need to remember how the hell you made the first one.

First things first - get your shit together...

4 pieces of decent sized foam board or card board: for baby/toddlers, it can be about 12-15 inches, for bigger kids/smaller adults, you'll need about 20-25 inches, and for taller people you can do about 28-30 inches but I wouldn't go much bigger or you run the risk of not fitting through doors.

Hot glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks. I went through a ton!! like 20 (of the large ones)
About 2 yards of tan felt
1 yard of whatever kind of fabric you want: for this one, I used blue polka dots...  for Clara, I used pumpkins... pretty much whatever kind of pie you want, that's the kind of fabric you need and if you need to fake it because the fabric store doesn't sell 'pecan' themed things, you can use maple leaf and oak/acorn fabric like I did for Cara's. Ribbon - 1 roll of 18 ft or 2 rolls of 9 ft (you're going to need 8 pieces of ribbon about 12-18 inches long depending on how big you want the bows to be once it's tied on you

Aluminum foil

Spray glue/mod podge/any kind of glue - except hot glue because it will heat through the foil and you risk burning yourself when you press it onto the foam board. Believe me, it's not fun...

About 2 yards of quilt batting or fake snow (it's cheaper and thicker)

White felt - less than 1 yard (or just use the snow - it works)

1 foam ball about 3-4 inches or a couple pieces of packing tissue paper (the stuff you get from Homegoods works like a charm) rolled into a ball about 3-4 inches wide.


Beer/Wine/cocktail because 1) you are insane to agree to make 3 Halloween costumes the month before your wedding and you are fairly certain the glue gun is the weapon of choice for self-destructive crafters and 2) sometimes alcohol is the only solution when you get one too many globs of steaming hot glue on your finger tips. better make it a double... and keep um coming.

Once you've gathered your supplies, get the glue gun plugged in and heating up so it's ready when you're done cutting out all these pieces.

We're going to start with the Back piece for the pie first - pie plate/crust. Easy-peasy!

*3 foam/cardboard circles (above left)
*2 pieces of tan felt - about 1-2 inches wider all the way around than your foam circle - make the edges a little squiggly so they look like a pie crust. duh! (above right)
* as much aluminum foil as it will take to cover 1 side of the back piece of foam (usually 2 pieces slightly longer than the diameter of the foam so you can fold it over the edges. Crinkle it up a little so it looks more like a pie plate but don't ball it up or you wont be able to get it flat again without ripping it.
* 8 pieces of ribbon
* 4 pieces of batting/snow cut into circles the same size as your foam board
* 1 piece of fabric cut about 6-8 inches longer than your foam board diameter


1) Creating the "pie plate": Spray the back side of 1 piece of cardboard and glue the foil to it. Fold the foil around the edges of the circle so 1 side of your board is completely covered.

2) Glue on the ribbon: the ribbons get tied over your shoulders and about waist-high. (you can kind of see this on the top picture).  Hot glue the ribbon to the "inside" of the back piece of foam board. I made a strip of glue about 5 inches long and pressed the ribbon to it so that we decreased the risk of a ribbon coming loose.

3) Make sure if you use ribbon that has a pattern on only 1 side that you glue it so it shows when the costume is tied on - for the blue berry costume, I had to glue it 'face down' since I did it on the insides of the costume.

4) Now, take 1 of your big felt tan ruffly circles and glue it over the "inside". I used hot glue for this since it's fabric and will stay better than with spray glue. if you're using hot glue, it's easier to glue down in sections. Take this as a drink break. Glue, press, sip. Glue press, sip. Start at the top and work your way down, otherwise the glue sometimes dries faster than you can get the whole circle covered.

That's the back of the costume - DONE! Set it aside, you won't need it for a while.

* 4 pieces of 2 yd x 3 inch felt, also cut ruffled/squiggly - these will be your pie crust (below)
*14-20 pieces of squiggly/ruffed felt - these are the lattice for the top of your pie - only need them if you are, in fact, making a lattice-topped pie... so that means, pumpkin and pecan get to skip this part. They should be about 4-6 inches longer than the diameter of your pie foam pieces so you have length to fold over

For the front side of the costume, grab another piece of foam board, 4 more pieces of ribbon, and the other felt circle and repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for the "inside" of the back piece above.


Flip your "front side" over and grab your glue and a few strips of "crust". Working in about 6 inch sections, squeeze a strip of glue around the perimeter of the foam/cardboard circle. Lay the edge of the felt strip on the glue and then pinch it quickly before the glue sets to make it look gathered. When you finish1 strip, layer the next one over it, you can see how I did it in the photo below (see the bottom left side of the picture).

 You could probably use another drink by now. Treat yourself.


Now for the fun part, where it actually starts to look like a pie. Lay the fabric face down on the table then stack 4 pieces of batting on top of it so it's centered and all even. You can glue in between if you feel like it but the batting usually sticks to itself pretty well and shouldn't move too much. Lay the last piece of foam board on top of all of it and start pulling the fabric up around the edges (like you're re-upholstering a chair). You can glue it if your foam isn't too sturdy but if it's thick foam, grab a stapler and go nuts. (I used glue because the display foam board I had left over from another project for this blueberry pie is lighter weight so the staples didn't hold well - for the pecan and pumpkin pie, I used industrial foam my dad had at his warehouse so the staples worked GREAT!)

Next weave the lattice on your table top/work surface so it looks like a pie crust. Then place your pie face down and start gluing your lattice pieces down on the back side (below).

Once you are finished gluing down all the lattice, glue the entire back - work quickly so it doesn't harden on you - and flip it over onto the ruffled front piece and press... get your whole body into it... just lay on it.

Set it aside- under a case of beer to make sure it really sets tight - or something equally heavy.

You're costume is finished now except for the head piece. Drink up, buttercup!

Turn heads
Grab the scissors and get moving. For the headband, we need:
*6 white felt ruffled circles - 6-7 inches in diameter
*2 white felt circles - round is fine apx. 2-3 inches in diameter
*1 piece of fabric used for filling -about 1 square foot  to wrap around the foam/tissue ball

Glue a little triangle and fold each white circle in half onto itself.

With the open edges facing the same direction, glue each piece on top of the last to make a little flower. Glue a small round circle in the middle of the flower (covers all the edges and makes it easier to glue the berry in the middle/the whole thing onto the headband).

Set the flower aside to dry.
Lay our your fabric face down. Place the ball in the center. Pull up from one spot and start gluing the fabric to the ball. Pinch and pleat so that the ball maintains a round shape. 

One the whole ball is glued and dried - glue it to the center of the flower. Make sure you keep the smooth side up (see below).

Glue the whole thing onto a headband - for the blue berry costume, I used a crochet head band (since it's for a baby). The head bands for Cara and Clara were different and I used ear warmers I got for $1 at Jo-Ann Fabric! Which will be cute and keep them warm while trick-or-treating!!

For the finishing touch on the blueberry headband, I used lime green thread to sew a piece of lime green striped bakers twine to the top like a stem. It looked cuter as a bow, so I left it like that.

More on Cara & Clara's pie costumes in another post coming soon :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Real, Deal & Steal: Fall Entertaining

We have been in the process of renovating our home forEVER a few months now and we're FINALLY getting to the fun part. I've been dying to get into furnishing and decorating our house and really digging in and making it a home that reflects both my style and my husband-to-be's. So obviously, my #1 concern automatically became the bar.

He wants a full bar in our basement/man cave/play room to-be. That's all well and good, and really, who couldn't use a basement bar?

via houzz

Of course, I'm not opposed to this... but something as grand as this will take a while for us to finish. Also, I'm not opposed to having a small bar set up upstairs for day drinking ease of entertaining.

I came across this amazing collection on Pinterest which further sealed the deal on my love of bar carts. I'm not the only one! I knew this had to be something that we have in a nook of our home somewhere... let's be honest, I would try to convince my beloved that it is totally appropriate for our bedroom if I thought I'd make any headway there.

Unfortunately, we're on a super-tight budget due to the wedding just 6 short weeks away! So my dream of owning the Beckett bar cart has been quashed (even though it's on sale now), and I'm being forced to be more judicious with my spending... BOO! This bad boy is still on our registry because it's just awesome and I keep hoping against hope that I can convince Jay that I absolutely must have it. wish me luck


The good thing about this is that I'm getting really great at finding similar items for way less moolah - and that makes me happy because it means I can get quite a few things for our home instead of just 1 giant splurge item. After some quick googling, I found the Libations bar cart at Crate & Barrel. It's a little more modern, but it's still super cute and portable, which I love.


I was ready to bite the bullet and just buy one of these when I saw this little sweetie in Target a few weeks back. I was the girl wrestling it off the shelf to try to push it around the aisle and see how sturdy it is... surprisingly great quality. I was expecting it to be rickety and wobbly and not hold up to normal-people wear and tear. Then Emily at Jone's Design Co. style it in her blog post earlier this week and I was totally sold!

I'm still holding out hope that Beckett will magically make his way into my life (and my living room) but for now, I can totally and completely, 100% without guilt go with the Target cart. At least I know I will have a place to store all the booze Jay won at the last beef & beer... 2 baskets of cheer! winner winner chicken dinner!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall Faves

Funny Seasonal Ecard: If you say “Pumpkin Spice Latte” 3 times in front of a mirror a white girl in yoga pants will appear and tell you her favorite things about Fall. 

I am that girl.

So in the spirit of Fall, I've decided to post a few of my favorite things that will be infused into our decor this year to make it feel  more homey in our house. Why, yes, yes I am decorating a house that is still 1/2 under construction. Crazier things have happened.
one - two/two - three - four - five - six

 I have to readily admit that although these pumpkins from Pottery Barn are freaking awesome, I found the exact same ones for $4.99 at T.J. Maxx. So if you love them but they're still just a tad to much (even though they're 20% off right now) than I suggest hitting your local Homegoods/TJ Maxx/Marshall's for a sweet knock off at a fraction of the price.

As far a wardrobe for fall is concerned, I'm totally loving the chunky open sweaters like this one at American Eagle and this one at Gap. I'm also completely obsessed with Victoria's Secret sweatshirts. As soon as the temperature dips below 70 degrees, you can bet your ass, I'm rocking one of these.

one - two - three - four

I also have to admit that I'm already thinking about decorating for Christmas (yea, I'm as guilty as Macy's and Kohl's when it comes to that shit... I may have started listening to Christmas music about the same time I posted the 1/2 Christmas entry in June) but I promised Jay that I will not do it until after Thanksgiving. I have been told that marriage is all about compromise so that will be our first one as a married couple. Of course, he'll really get a break this year since we're getting married the day after Thanksgiving so Christmas decorations will be delayed til the following weekend.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Parfait

Happy First Day of October!!! 
let's get festive, shall we?

This is seriously, the FASTEST, easiest dessert you can possibly make. No baking (which is great, especially given the current state of our oven, I don't even want to talk about it) and can be made with less than 10 ingredients, and less than a half hour to make (including going to the grocery store because you're out of milk) which is super awesome for a dessert.

 Pumpkin Spice Parfaits
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
1 can Puree Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 Butterscotch pudding (2 packs)
1 container Cool Whip (or the generic brand that was on sale)
1 Entenmann's Pumpkin Loaf  Cake (you could make your own, if you were feeling ambitious, but this was BOGO and it's so effing good)
3 cups of Milk

First whip up a batch of the pudding. I made a double batch* of these babies which gave me 16 large servings. If I had the little cocktail cups that I usually use, it probably would have given me 20-24 cups.

(*I grew up in a house with 3 brothers and 2 sisters... I automatically double a recipe... sometimes triple)

Beat in the spices then fold in the pumpkin puree and the whipped cream.

 Slice the pumpkin bread into cubes.

Layer the bread and the mousse into cup or bowls.
The first layer in the cups should be the cake. The top layer should be mousse. 
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Galvanized Tray
Garnish them with whipped cream (oops - or not) and something festive (like washi tape flags on paper straws).

I'm going to make these again for Thanksgiving and then I will probably sprinkle candied pecans on top, but for today, I'm leaving them plain because my little sis just got braces and she sent me a special request via text for a "soft" dessert so that she could eat it.