Archives For February 2014

Love Bird Series-01

Whelp, yesterday’s post didn’t happen. What DID happen was my ass totally getting annihilated by my very first bikram yoga class. You know … the one in 100 billion degree room, that last for over an hour and 45 minutes. That one.

Yeah, after that class, my ability to do anything but shower, take Marley to drop a poop and crawl into bed went to zilch.

So, that means TODAY we are going to talk about…. THE OUTDOORSY COUPLE. (how’d you know?)

Monday, I blew everyone’s mind by breaking down all couples into four categories. They probably spend across two or all of them, but for the most part they generally sit in one.

These categories are:

The Classic Love/ Romance Couple — This is the down to earth maybe modest couple who are conservative and completely in love with each other. They look forward to spending their life together, popping out some rugrats and look forward to the house with blue shutters and a white picket fence. Possibly a dog or two. I would call them traditional in all sense of the word and their wedding would be an even to match.

The Artsy Hipster Couple — This couple is all about trying the new cool restaurant in town before it’s even popular, they love art shows, live music and Etsy. This couple fill their home with eclectic homemade touches and plan their vacations around the next music festival. Their wedding will most likely have some DIY touches and a live band.

The Party Never Stops Couple — This couple put more thought into their reception than the actual vows, because they want their guests to have an amazing time. This couple is the pair that always throw events at their house and have all the ingredients/ tools to whip up a killer cocktail or jello shots in their cupboard RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT. They’ve got 20 extra ping pong balls for beer pong and a few extra air mattress for those who go a little too hard. They live to entertain.

The Outdoorsy Couple — This couple spend the majority of their time outside vs. in. They are always traveling, hiking, camping and have one entire closet or section of their garage dedicated to their gear. This couple love campfires and are more often found in REI than Meijers. They know exactly what freeze dried food tastes the best, and can tell you what direction you’re facing in the woods by observing the moss.

Today we’re headed outside with the couple that spends more time planning their summer camping and figuring out how they can fit hiking, kayaking and work into one single day then they do sleeping.

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Wood Sign // Hammock // Portable Recharger
Lets Go On An Adventure // Luggage Tags // Bench
Drunk On Patios // Running Soul Mates
Bocce Set // Anniversary Wine Crate // Recycled Sign
Waterproof Box // Cornhole Set

Back tomorrow with the LAST couple (Listed will be postponed till next week!)
Also this weekend you’ll be seeing some fun new posts as well 😉

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Love Bird Series-01

Welcome back! If you missed my spiel yesterday, we’re talking fun unique wedding gift ideas for that wedding you’re headed to next month. Before you can find yourself a hot groomsman or bridesmaid you need to get some shopping done for the mr & mrs to be.

Now yesterday, I blew everyone’s mind by breaking down all couples into four categories. They probably spend across two or all of them, but for the most part they generally sit in one.

These categories are:

The Classic Love/ Romance Couple — This is the down to earth maybe modest couple who are conservative and completely in love with each other. They look forward to spending their life together, popping out some rugrats and look forward to the house with blue shutters and a white picket fence. Possibly a dog or two. I would call them traditional in all sense of the word and their wedding would be an even to match.

The Artsy Hipster Couple — This couple is all about trying the new cool restaurant in town before it’s even popular, they love art shows, live music and Etsy. This couple fill their home with eclectic homemade touches and plan their vacations around the next music festival. Their wedding will most likely have some DIY touches and a live band.

The Party Never Stops Couple — This couple put more thought into their reception than the actual vows, because they want their guests to have an amazing time. This couple is the pair that always throw events at their house and have all the ingredients/ tools to whip up a killer cocktail or jello shots in their cupboard RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT. They’ve got 20 extra ping pong balls for beer pong and a few extra air mattress for those who go a little too hard. They live to entertain.

The Outdoorsy Couple — This couple spend the majority of their time outside vs. in. They are always traveling, hiking, camping and have one entire closet or section of their garage dedicated to their gear. This couple love campfires and are more often found in REI than Meijers. They know exactly what freeze dried food tastes the best, and can tell you what direction you’re facing in the woods by observing the moss.

Yesterday we talked about the fun, cool, and always interesting Artsy Hipster Couple, and today we’re going on the completely opposite side of the spectrum and are going to talk about the Party Never Stops Couple.

If you read the text above, I classified this couple as the always looking for a good time party hosts… And everyone knows, if you’re going to throw a good party you have to have the right tools… below are some great options for this couple.

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Optimist & Pessimist Glass // Fun Love Artwork // Custom Liquor Markers
Coasters // Martini Glasses // Bottle Opener // Pour Spout
Easiest Wine Opener Ever // Beer Pitchers // Heart Bottle Stopper // Yours, Mine, Ours Decanter
Mountable Bottle Opener // Custom Cutting Board // Party Games Like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity

I’d love that custom cutting board, but I’m weird so…

Back tomorrow with another type of couple!!

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Love Bird Series-01

Well, it’s that time of year folks. Where we open our hearts and our wallets to help celebrate the love and marriages of our closest friends and family members. I’m apparently getting to that age where everyone’s getting married and popping out kids. I have 3 weddings myself to attend this year of close friends and going as the wedding date to a few with friends as well. Along with weddings comes the pre-wedding festivities of bachelor & bachelorette parties and the dreaded bridal shower. If you’re anything like me, you find getting the wedding gift both the best and worst part of the wedding. I’m so picky about gifts. I always want to make sure it’s something they’ll love, and use… or want. And I always want it to be different or creatively wrapped or something artsy.

Probably the hardest part of gift giving is being able to read the couple. Sure you can go and pick items off their registry like everyone else, but why not add something fun to the gift that you’re sure they will love. It’ll show you went the extra mile, and make you look like a rockstar.

In my opinion most couples fall into a set of four categories:

The Classic Love/ Romance Couple — This is the down to earth maybe modest couple who are conservative and completely in love with each other. They look forward to spending their life together, popping out some rugrats and look forward to the house with blue shutters and a white picket fence. Possibly a dog or two. I would call them traditional in all sense of the word and their wedding would be an even to match.

The Artsy Hipster Couple — This couple is all about trying the new cool restaurant in town before it’s even popular, they love art shows, live music and Etsy. This couple fill their home with eclectic homemade touches and plan their vacations around the next music festival. Their wedding will most likely have some DIY touches and a live band.

The Party Never Stops Couple — This couple put more thought into their reception than the actual vows, because they want their guests to have an amazing time. This couple is the pair that always throw events at their house and have all the ingredients/ tools to whip up a killer cocktail or jello shots in their cupboard RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT. They’ve got 20 extra ping pong balls for beer pong and a few extra air mattress for those who go a little too hard. They live to entertain.

The Outdoorsy Couple — This couple spend the majority of their time outside vs. in. They are always traveling, hiking, camping and have one entire closet or section of their garage dedicated to their gear. This couple love campfires and are more often found in REI than Meijers. They know exactly what freeze dried food tastes the best, and can tell you what direction you’re facing in the woods by observing the moss.

No of course, not every couple falls into just one category, they might spad across a few, and that’s the beauty of what I’m about to give you next…

I’m going to give you some awesome gift guides for each couple, and it’s up to you to view and pick from those ideas to fit your couple the best. I myself feel thta i fit across the bottom three pretty well and would enjoy gifts from any of those lists.

Today though, we’re going to start with the Artsy Hipster Couple. This is probably the category that is MOST me. I love DIY touches to a wedding, that not only makes it more affordable, but more personal. I also obviously enjoy these touches to my home.

So this list is comprised of items that are perfect for the Artsy/ Hipster couple.

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Cross-Stitch Art (working on finding the right link… ) // Map Heart Art // Thumb Print Art // DIY Art Kit
Personalized Cutting Board // Name Sign //Hello Pillows
Everything We Need Art // Pennant // Mugs

 

Check back tomorrow with another list for a different couple type!

Toodles,Signature-01

 

Listed |6

February 21, 2014

COOK — something I found that looked yummy that I plan on re-creating.
MAKE — something I want to make.
WANT — something I don’t “need” but want.
NEED — something that I NEED.
WOOF — something for Marley or Ziggy.

*NEW CATEGORY* SPACE — a place that inspires me

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COOK/ I pretty much just went round eyed and started salivating when I saw this photo. Recipe is pinned and you can bet your ass I’ll be trying it soon.

MAKE/ I’ve been looking around for a while now for some fun soft baskets to hold extra toilet paper in the bathrooms in my home… And I’m fairly confident that I could pull together two on these. Now I just need to actually get started on them… baby steps. right?

WANT/ Since seeing this pillow on Michael’s couch here… I’ve wanted this pillow. Even before he gave sources for everything I literally search for this pillow. I think it would be super cute in ANY bedroom.

NEED/ I’ve been on a whole crazy organization kick lately and one guilty party is my closet/ laundry area. I’ve got some big plans for that area and that’ll hopefully hit the blog soon and these baskets would be a great addition. (Telling myself that so I get my ass in gear) The other huge area that needs organization? My drawers… ALL DRAWERS in my house. It’s bad guys… WAY BAD. These drawers spacers would put a nice dent into my utensil drawer issue.

WOOF/ Marley’s not really a fast eater, she tends to eat a mouthful and then walks away. I call her a social eater. So because she doesn’t have an empty bowl all the time, sometimes it hard to remember just how much she’s actually had to eat that day. I’m starting to make a routine out of it (in hopes it puts her on a schedule more) but this cute art would be a nice reminder coming down the stairs in the morning or right next tot he door when I walk in.

SPACE/ Guys, New category– I’m stoked. Sometimes I just get so inspired by a space that it’s hard to tell you why. This bedroom that was featured on apartment therapy is very calming (which a bedroom should bed). I love the wide planks I totally want to do that to a wall of my own, and I also love the bed and bedding. That’s how I want my bed to look and feel… like the most comfortable thing you could ever crawl up into.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty sure this week has been out to get me. I’m so glad it Friday, and that I have a two day break from the craziness. 

PS, USA vs. CANADA Hockey today… noon. CANT FREAKING WAIT. Winner gets to deport Justine Bieber. And I’ll be honest. I cant stand that little shit anymore. The stakes are SO HIGH with this one.

Also being that it’s Friday…. it’s time to…..

#backthatazzup with Whitney from I Wore Yoga Pants to Work
 
The purpose: To start our weekend with some fantastic jams.
The station that inspired it: “Back That Azz Up” on Pandora Radio.
The rules: Link your jams up and have a jam sesh with all of us!
Today’s Selection:
Happy  — Pharrell Williams
This song is making me bounce my ass right out the door… 😉

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It’s been a while since I’ve browsed the flash deal sites that I used to troll on a daily basis like Groupon, Living Social and Rue La La…. There’s more, but they’re all pretty much the same now anyway right?

Generally I’ve just gotten into the habit of deleting the emails from my inbox without even looking at them. But every once in a while I’ll notice one that sparks my interest and I’ll stop by for a look, then lose myself for an hour. Once of the pages I always seem to land on is the Groupon Goods page. If you hunt you can definitely find some decent deals on products you were probably going to purchase anyways (or not). What use to be a limited qty and selection of items for the day has grown into a vast array of some of the weirdest and most useless items someone could buy… just for the hell of it. Surprising though, there are a few decent items worth purchasing.

The selection below are some of their weirdest, stupidest, and best deals from today… and by today I mean from the first 700 items (I was too lazy to keep going).Groupon1

Body Back Buddy Handheld MassagerI’m pretty sure you shouldn’t use this thing unless you have health insurance. I feel like this just looks like an accident waiting to happen. But great for tall us singles out there?

Night Moves Tease Vibrator: Okay, seriously 1) Why is Groupon selling vibrators? 2) How the hell do they come up with these names? What classifies this a “night moves”? What if you wanted to use it during the day? would the moves not be as good? And I’m pretty sure I don’t want a tease…

Bluetooth SpeakerI’ve actually heard good things about this speaker, it’s currently sitting in my cart on amazon, so, this item: JUSTYNN APPROVED 

Dinamite Metallic LeggingsWow, where to start? 1) the spelling of the name? Yeah… 2) I mean, you’d be easy to find…3) Maybe these would be great for a Halloween costume…

800 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton SheetsI’ve actually bought sheets several times off groupon (becasue good sheets are expensive) and They are two of my favorite pairs of sheets. So, this item: JUSTYNN APPROVED 

LuminAID Lantern I mean, really? WTF is this? Maybe it’d be cool for camping…. Maybe? Idk…

Foot Detox PatchesIf these actually work, then fine, maybe they are worth it. But I’ve never heard of it before and they just look weird.

Animal Shaped LED HeadlightOK, this one just creeps me out. Headlamps— great for some things.. esp camping. THIS headlamp: f*cking creeping coming out of the eyes. This is going to give me nightmares.

Wireless Rocking Rabbit Love RingUhhhh again… why on groupon? How the hell does that thing work? ::tilts head tot he side:: Do people really use this stuff?

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NCAA Player Comfy Throw With Sleeves I get the point behind these… I do… but, they make me giggle. And there’s not even an MSU one. Come’on….

Funny St. Patrick’s Day ShirtsLigitmently pissed when I realized the “This is my drinking shirt” was out of stock. Damnit. I want that shirt. JUSTYNN APPROVED

Pet Life BackpackAgain, just weird. I’ve seen hiking pack for dogs for back packing… but literally a small backpack for your dog? Yeah… pass.

Nature Lovin’ Honey Bear LubricantThis is just bad news/ bad incident waiting to happen. I like honey in my tea in the morning and this… yeah, that’d be a mistake.

Custom Wooden Photo Collage BoardConfession- I totally tried doing something like this myself once, and it’s totally hard to transfer photos. SO, to me… this is cool and WORTH IT. JUSTYNN APPROVED

2 Pack Pearl Tubing for Breast PumpAgain… ick. WHY GROUPON WHY? Pretty sure somethings are just not meant to be sold on Groupon…

Memory Card CaseThis actually is something I could use. I have so many random cards out there it’d be nice to keep them 1) in a case and 2) all together… you know.. so I know where they are and shit. JUSTYNN APPROVED

Collapsible Drinks Cooler with Stand and Carrying CaseOpening day is coming up and I cant even begin to tell you how stoked I am for tailgating and going to my VERY FIRST opening day game…. ON MY BIRTHDAY. Right? Like a gift from the heavens. This sounds like it’d be prefect for tailgating. Bending down for a beer it much harder to do once your intoxication level hits “baseball status”. JUSTYNN APPROVED 

Personalized Stamper I’m lazy and hate writing out my return address on things. I actually have the argument in my head before mailing, if it worth having the item returned if it doesn’t make it to the recipient. Most of the time it isn’t. This is pretty cool though. JUSTYNN APPROVED

This Savy little saver is OUT,

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TMBR

February 18, 2014

So I’m here to ask you all the age old question.

If a man speaks in the forest and no women hears him…is he still wrong?

Hah. Kidding.

But we are going to talk about wood today.

….

Come on guys, not that kind of wood. Your head’s in the gutter again… I thought we talked about that?

Nah.

Anyways, so last week— maybe the week before? I had a mini panic day, the day my iPhone died. So I had to go get a new one. which of course means spending ten zillion dollars on new accessories. One of which being a new case.

I’m pretty particular about cases. I like the hard cases, but not the ones that add a ton a bulk to my phone. The thing is large enough already, we don’t need to go adding to the size.

Anyways, I spent a day or two really searching online at cases and I kept coming back to a thin wood/ bamboo case. It just felt right. So I found my case on Etsy, it’s from a store call Tmbr, which, if I do say so myself has some pretty freaking cool items. I listed a few 2 weeks ago on my gift guide for guys. I still want one of those sunglasses. Maybe for my birthday. You know, if I’m good.

I’m not going to talk much more about Tmbr, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. I highly recommend buying from this shop, the case is absolutely rocking quality, and they shipped it out the same day. Which, on Etsy, is kinda unheard of.

Check ’em out here….

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Basically I pretty much love my phone case.

That’s it for today, I’m going to dig myself out of 8 fresh inches of snow now. WHERE THE HELL IS SPRING?!

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oh ps, this post isn’t sponsored. I’m sure Tmbr doesn’t even have a clue I did this little write up and photoshoot. I just like the product.

Love Post

Can we pause before going into the whole purpose of this post and take in the greatness that is the I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness music video? I mean, a naked man hugging that pink furry thing. CLASSIC.

Oh right… the purpose…

I’m getting there…

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

(single awareness day)

Everyone enjoying their day so far? Were you surprised with heart shaped pancakes this morning? Yeah, me either. It happens. I did however get some really sweet Valentine’s Day kisses from my furry Valentine this morning. She’s the best. I’m giving her a sweet VDAY treat later. Because I’m a creepy dog mom.  Actually, Marley has a valentine for all the CLA readers…

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She’s adorable right? I was just finishing up with a fun little photo shoot and she decided that she wanted a few head-shots taken as well.

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The actual photo-shoot, before little miss diva took over was for a really cool company call Brilliant Earth, who had contacted me around the end of January to see if I wanted to participate in a fun blogger creative challenge.They challenged me to come up with a image that reflexed what *LOVE* meant to me while spelling out the term.

I’m always down for a challenge, so I pretty much immediately responded with a “count me in”. It took me a few days after to come up with a concept that REALLY expressed me, but I’m really satisfied with the result. See, love to me is about a whole slew of things. Friends, family, Marley (obviously), cooking, baking, crafting, building, blogging… and just fun things in general. I wanted to find a way to represent each of these separate aspects of love and I had four little letters to accomplish it by.

So for as corny as we can get…

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L – Represents my love for crafting, taking photos and painting.

O – Represents Marley and her impact on my life, without her I’m not quite sure where I’d be.

V – Represents my inner chef and baker, something that I’m really proud of.

 E – Represents the part of me that loves to build things, something I share with many members of my family.

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I had so much fun pulling together the items for each letter. It was fun looking through my stash and finding objects that represented me and Creative Life Antics overall as a whole. I’m pretty sure “O” is my favorite. All the items on there scream Marley to me. From the dog leash she’s chewed on to the tag on her collar, she’s full of spunk and spirit and the objects in this photo are her favorites.

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Brilliant Earth is a jewelry company that specializes in ethically sourced diamonds and engagement rings. To be honest I didn’t really know much about them until this fun challenge. But I took a minute to read about them and I’ve got to say that they have me really sold on their mission. They want to provide not only quality diamonds and jewelry, but do it in a way that promotes awareness and change in a field of economics that generally has a bad rap.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about the jewelry trade business or about the horrible practices and conditions of diamond mining, but anyone that promotes the well being of other humans/ animals and overall tries to improve the way of life for them seem like good people to me.

Second honest moment? I’m generally not a jewelry gal. Or at least expensive jewelry. I’ve never really took time out of my life to picture what my engagement ring would like (you know, if I ever decide to date again). I’m not into flashy big rings and rarely if I’ve ever found time to peruse engagement rings have I EVER found anything that more than merely sparked my interest. But, I figured hey what the hello, look to see what they got.

You see this ring? This is it. I had a total stop the presses moment. Never ever ever before have I looked at an engagement ring and went “YES, that’s the type of ring I want”. Until now.

RING

Isn’t it gorgeous? I love that it’s all vintage style, but still has modern flare. It reminds me so much of my grandmother’s which I wear almost daily.

Wow, I feel like a real girl now. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. 😉

There are some really pretty other pieces on their site too. These are a few of my favorites.

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one // two // three // four // five // six // seven

* LINKS HAVE BEEN REMOVED AT THE REQUEST OF BRILLIANT EARTH*

What are your favorite’s from Brilliant Earth? How’d you like my mini “photo shoot”? And MARLEY is getting SO BIG. Man oh man.

This official girly girl is OUT,

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Ps: This post is super non-sponsored, I really was just contacted to funzies and had a blast pulling together this image. Also Brilliant Earth really is a sweet site, and I really did find my dream ring. ❤

Put a Cork in it.

February 11, 2014

So a few weeks ago I featured Andi’s Cork Ball as my “Make” for Listed Week 1. I FINALLY was able to pull together my very own and I’m absolutely in LOVE with it. In fact, I made two.

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Holy cow though did it made a dent in my cork stash.

I’m not going to repeat Andi’s tutorial here, so if you want a step by step please visit her site. It’s pretty self explanatory though.

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Glue Gun & Glue
1 Billion Corks
Styrofoam Ball
Paint (the color of the corks)

I LOVE THEM.

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I will give this pro tip though: make sure you’re mixing up the type of corks and the color of the cork ends (white vs. red) 

 

With that, this wine-o, out.

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Smart Art

February 10, 2014

If you’ve ever hosted guests at your house for a weekend or a few days you have probably been asked this exact question at least once over that time period…

“What’s your WiFi Password?”

Now, you might actually know your Wifi password by heart. If you do– you’re better than me. But a lot of people (I’m looking at you Mom…) just kept the same numbers that they were given when AT&T, Comcast, or whoever came and installed your network. And quite frankly, remember that number is fairly LOW on my totem pole of tasks.

I have my password saved in my phone— somewhere, but to go look it up means I have to 1) Find my Phone, 2) Find the location where it’s hidden and 3) read it off CORRECTLY for my guest.

So the other day I was blog hopping around and happened to come across this post over on East Coast Creative (Who, if you’ve never checked out— you need to get your shit together. They’re the hosts of Creating With The Stars, my DREAM competition.

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Basically they were just talking about how you could turn your wifi password into cool art. GENIUS. Even better— I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY. Match made in Graphic Designer Heaven basically.

But, I wanted something less…. obvious. So I stored the idea in the back of my head for a bit.

THEN, I came across this AWESOME Etsy shop: ElAtlasParlanchi

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Seriously these maps are freaking awesome and I totally want to own one at some time. However, in the meantime I decided to try to attempt something KINDA like it.

This is my “Wifi – Smart Art”
(before you ask, no– this is NOT my actual password.)

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Cool yes? Want to know how to make it? Great…

You Will Need:

(1) Frame with Mat
(1) Map (make sure it’s larger than your mat)
Exacto Knife
Pattern of your Wifi Password (tutorial for this below)
Background Paper (make sure it’s larger than your mat window)
Glue Stick

ONE// Grab your laptop and lets make your pattern of numbers. I used Illustrator to create mine, but you could easily use  Word or Paint. The big words you need to know here to make this project work are “tracking” and “leading”. Tracking is the amount of pre-set space that the font creator sets between each letter. If you adjust the tracking you can move your letters closer together or father apart from each other. Leading is the amount of space that the font creator sets between two or more lines of text. By adjusting leading you are adjusting how close two lines of text are to each other. In this case we want the numbers/ letters to overlap on all sides; top, bottom, left and right. If they touch then when you cut out your shapes they all stick together in one bunch.

So, in illustrator it’s really simple to adjust these two items. As you can see below I’ve selected the text I want to edit and am hovering over the menus that control these two settings. Adjust as needed.

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If you are doing this in word make each letter or number a different piece of word art and manually layer them on top of each other to make all the letters touch on all sides. Paint- Same thing, each number/ letter is a separate text box.

*PRO TIP* You want to use a chunky, bold font for this project. Thin fonts won’t show as clearly and will be MUCH harder to cut out.

TWO// Once you have your pattern created it’s time to cut it out. Easier way to do this is to do the small pieces first. All the spaces in-between the letters and the holes in the 0’s, 4’s, 6’s… etc. Save the outside cut for last. Make sure to tape your numbers down!!

THREE// Once your letters are cut out you need to secure them down to your background. Since I used map for mine, I decided I wanted to go with a pale blue to represent water.

FOUR// Pop that baby in your frame and call this project DONE. Hang on your wall and let people wonder what it means until your guests ask you that pesky little question…

What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Would you hang your password in your house? Would you do it differently?

Blogger, Out.

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Listed |5

February 7, 2014

COOK — something I found that looked yummy that I plan on re-creating.
MAKE — something I want to make.
WANT — something I don’t “need” but want.
NEED — something that I NEED.
WOOF — something for Marley or Ziggy.

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COOK/ I’m pretty much a meat and potatoes girl, but even for me regular potatoes can get a little boring. I’m always on the hunt for new ways to make my potatoes and this idea for roasted smashed potatoes not only looks cool, but sounds pretty yummy and basic. I’m in for quick and easy on my part. 🙂

MAKE/ I’ve loved this artwork by Katie ever since she first aired it on her blog. She recently re-posted the tutorial and it has me convinced that I’m going to make my own. Now just to find a fun canvas to be my base.

WANT/ Society 6 just recently added clocks to their list of items people can sell their designs on and I completely fell in love with this one while looking for a new phone case.

NEED/ Speaking of a phone case, my iPhone 4s took a shit this week and I was forced to upgrade to the 5s. Not that I’m all that upset about it, I was going to do so anyways. I was just biding my time before I had to shell out the cash and replace all my charge and docking stations. I’m still going about it slowly, but a new case and a new car charger are fist on my list. Love this case, and this USB charger is TOTALLY my color. Opting to go the USB route since many of my friends have other types of phones they could dual charge in my car.

WOOF/ I totally plan on making my own dog treats, since Marley’s pretty picky about them, and might potentially have an allergy– we’re still working on figuring that out. How cute would that be if they were personalized? One for Marley one for Ziggy?

HAPPY FRIDAY!!  Friday means it’s time to Back That Azz Up with Whitney.

LET GO!

#backthatazzup with Whitney from I Wore Yoga Pants to Work
 
The purpose: To start our weekend with some fantastic jams.
The station that inspired it: “Back That Azz Up” on Pandora Radio.
The rules: Link your jams up and have a jam sesh with all of us!
Today’s Selection:
Until Monday—

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Rich Love

February 6, 2014

I’m just going to warn you now, you’re going to hate me for killing any sense of your diet with this recipe.
Dont say I didn’t warn you.

I have a baking addiction. Like that’s news at all, right? Well my baking addiction leads me to record shows on TV… about baking, you know, in the off chance I might see something that might spark an idea and cause me to create the single best most amazing dessert I’ve ever made from scratch without a proper recipe… (woah run-on sentence)

It did. I did.

Inspiration hit like a ton of bricks.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

See, on one of those damn cooking networks is a show called Unique Sweets. And Unique Sweets is a show that goes around the country and finds all the damn best pastry shops/ bakeries/ whatever they call it that sell heaven in their windows. Now, normally I’ll be folding laundry or blogging or cleaning and barely paying attention to the show, but THIS DAY… oh no, THIS DAY I PAID ATTENTION.

I don’t even remember the name of the shop, the name of the episode or what day it was. All I know is that it was genius.

Follow me here… Rich & moist chocolate Devils food cake, Peanut butter frosting, chocolate & peanut butter chip brittle and creamy Chocolate Ganache.

WHO’S PAYING ATTENTION NOW?
that’s what I thought…

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Jeez, I’m salivating just writing this post…

Okay ready for a recipe? Stay with me here– It’s not overly hard, but it *is* messy.

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter Ding Dong:

This one is in several parts so stick with me here… The ding dong is comprised of several layers. Here I made you a graphic so you could visualize…

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So much flavor in one bite as you can tell.

Okay, so there are 4 major components to this dessert. The devil’s food cake, the frosting, the ganache and the potato chip brittle. The two items you are going to want to make first are the cake and the brittle.

I cheated and used a box cake mix, I wasn’t trying to impress anyone.
(HINT: if you used a normal spoonful of sour cream in your box cake mixes it keeps them from being dry)

So with the cake in the oven, I moved forward with the brittle. Like I said earlier, there wasn’t a recipe I was following and I honestly wasn’t measuring.

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Brittle:

1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli Semi- Sweet)
1/2- 2/3 Cup Heavy Cream
3/4 of a bag of Plain Potato Chips

DIRECTIONS: Warm the Heavy cream in a med- large size pot on the stove on medium heat. Melt the chocolate & peanut butter into the heavy cream and stir continuously until well blended. (Whisk is probably the best tool here…)

You want your potato chips to be crushed, but not pulverized so crush them up a bit before adding to the melted mixture. Stir just until covered and then remove from the heat.

On your counter lay out a large sheet of wax or parchment paper. Pour your hot, melted mixture on the paper and cover with another sheet of paper. Roll out your mixture between the two sheets with a rolling pin (or bottle of wine/ liquor, you achy) until about 1/4″ or 1/2″ thick.  Then shift the wax paper to a cookie tray and put in the freezer (or if you live in michigan just cover with a towel and put it outside, cuz it’s the fricken frozen tundra here). You want them to cool completely and get hard.

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Peanut Butter Frosting:

1/2 Cup Butter Softened
1 Cup Peanut Butter
3 Table Spoon Milk (More as needed)
2 Cups Confectioners Sugar

DIRECTIONS: Whip the butter and peanut butter until well mixed, gradually add the sugar and when the mixture starts to get thick add the milk a tablespoon as a time until your desired consistency. Beat for at least 3 minutes for fluffy and light frosting.

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Rich Milk Chocolate Ganache:

2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Bag Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips

DIRECTIONS: Warm the heavy cream on medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the chocolate chips and stir continuously until completely melted.

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Ok, now to building your new masterpiece… You start with a layer of your devil’s food cake. I used a hexagon cutter but it was honestly too big, I might use a circle one next time and go much smaller. (Do as a I say and not as I do, people)

Second Layer: Small swipe of peanut butter, it’s the “glue” for your brittle.

Third Layer: Next cut your cooled/ hard brittle with the same size cutter as your devil’s food cake and add a thin slice.

Fourth Layer: Heavy hand of frosting.

Fifth Layer: Top with another layer of devil’s food cake. Next smooth out the frosting on your “tower”.

Sixth Layer: Layer a cooling rack and a cookie sheet (to catch the extra) and set your towers on the cooling rack. Drizzle your warm ganache over the tower and enjoy the mouthwatering sensation.

Once cooled slightly top with a cute heart shaped sprinkle (for v-day, or maybe a pearl for non-vday)

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Hopefully that blows your mind, because it completely blows mine. ❤

Happy Baking…

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Everyone has *those* recipes. You know the ones I’m talking about. The standard basic ones in the back of your head that you could whip up quickly without much forethought.

Granted, I don’t have very many. I’m not a cook. I bake.

Big difference.

I get nervous cooking for other people. Meals specifically. Like items that are supposed to supplement you throughout the day. I worry that I might eff it up somehow and then that person is short a whole meal.

Stupid, right?

I know. :/

However, in the back of my head I do have those very few recipes that I know I can pull off. These Spinach and Cheese Chicken Roll Ups are a recipe from my step-mom (Thanks Sandy!) who I think adapted it from a Rachel Ray recipe?? Maybe… I’m not 100% sure. Either way its freaking delicious.

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They are SUPER SIMPLE to make and even better don’t take that many ingredients so easy on the wallet too. Plus if you’re making them for 1-2 people there’s generally leftovers and I love me some leftovers.

Less work.

Gosh I’m a lazy cook.

PS: This recipe is for Pat, who politely asked me for the recipe today while at work and I was too lazy to text the whole damn thing to him so I told him I’d blog it instead. So there.

SPINACH & CHEESE CHICKEN ROLL UPS

2-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (estimate half a large breast per person)
2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach (I usually just buy a bag/ container and use it for smoothies too)
8oz Package of Goat Cheese (or 16oz if you love cheese… or have more than 2-3 chicken breasts)
6 Slices of Baked Ham (no flavoring, you can get this at the deli counter, and yes– you CAN just as for 6 slices… who would have known?)
1/3 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil
Toothpicks

STEP 1: Using a meat hammer (or something equally heavy) pound your chicken breasts flat. They need to be about 1/3-1/2 inch thick. Set aside. Turn on your stove and place a large skillet with 2-4 TBSP olive oil to warm to med-high heat. Turn oven on to 350° F.

STEP 2: On a cutting board chop 2/3 handfuls of baby spinach into small pieces. About 1/4 size works good. Doesn’t have to be perfect. Then mix chopped baby spinach in a medium sized bowl with the 8-16oz of goat cheese. You want this mixed really well.

STEP 3: On a plate layer a flattened chicken breast with 1 slice of your ham and multiple spoonfuls of the spinach and cheese mixture. You want it to be well covered with the mixture but still roll-able. 

STEP 4: Starting on one end slowly roll your chicken and use a toothpick or two to secure. They will be large. The put your 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs on a plate or bowl and cover your chicken roll completely.

STEP 5: In your med-high warm skillet brown the outside of your rollups. Place in a baking dish and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked throughly.

Before serving remove the toothpicks. Trust me— I accidentally chomped down on one. That shit hurts.

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Generally I serve these with green beans and potatoes, but they are almost a meal alone. Maybe a great salad?

This is the PERFECT MEAL to make for Valentine’s Day for your *person*.

PS: Does anyone else feel that way about cooking for people? It’s like a phobia I swear…

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