Friday, June 22, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects

I received a set of Sally Hansen Salon Effects as part of the Spring Voxbox promotion from Influenster a few weeks back.  I have actually used them before and they are fabulous!  I got the wild child print which is a zebra print...not really my style but I did get tons of compliments on them!  I work at a job where I wash my hands all the time at work and nail polish doesn't really last that long, so even thought it said you don't need a top coat, I put one on to be sure they lasted longer than a few days and they did!  They easily came off with nail polish remover!  I definitely recommend them for anyone that loves fun nail polish!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Avengers Assemble!

Just a quick update.  I've been working on quite a few things for the Avenger's movie release in two weeks.  Anyone that knows my husband and his buddies knows that this is a big deal.

Last night I kept thinking about a bag to replace the one my husband uses when we go to theme parks (aka every week).  So I spent my morning putting this together.  I didn't use a pattern, I used one of his beat up old bags and took the straps off it.  I used an eyelet kit for the grommets.  I made an SVG out of the logo and used my Cricut to cut some t-shirt vinyl out and voila, a bag in under an hour.  I'll definitely be making a few more.

Here's a photo of the finished bag:

His response:  "Does it have a hammer hook?"  Oye.

I'll post the hats/helmets I made the boys in next few days!  Until then!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stuffed Sweet Peppers

We have a farmer's market right down the road from us every Saturday.  Since the weather has been so nice we'll usually walk down there first thing.  They always have a plethora of these huge sweet peppers that I always pass on because I just don't know what to use them for.  Well, now I'm in LOVE.

I've made stuffed bell peppers before but decided to do something with more of a Mexican flare with these.  They roasted down and became sweet and tender which was a perfect combination with the beans and corn.

I had searched for a recipe but there weren't many to choose from.  So I sort of made it up as I went.  I used 1/2 a bag of dry beans because that's what I had.  I just let them soak for 6 hours and boiled them until just tender (about 45 minutes), because I knew I'd be cooking them down some more.  But feel free to use canned!  I also had a red bell pepper that I snuck in and it baked down wonderfully.  I had some extra filling left that we're going to eat with some polenta tonight.  So don't be afraid of leftovers!

Vegetarian Stuffed Sweet Peppers
  •  1/2 a bag of dried black beans, soaked and cooked.  Or, 2 cans black beans rinsed and drained.
  • 4 sweet peppers, washed (this would be enough for 8)
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste-we like spicy) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of water
  • Cheese (Mozzarella, cheddar, Mexican blend-whatever you have!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Saute the onion until soft and add the garlic and spices.  Once fragrant, mix in the black beans, corn and water.  You don't want it to be soupy, but the mixture will dry out a little while baking in the oven.

Let this simmer over low heat while you prepare the peppers.  Cut them in half lengthwise, leaving the stems on.  Clean out the seeds and any "meaty" parts.  Lay them in a casserole dish.  I used a 9 by 13 glass dish.  Spoon the bean mixture into each of the halves and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes with the foil on, and remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly. 

This is pretty quick to assemble and reheats fantastically the next day.  I made this with some cilantro-lime rice and it was delish!

Monday, March 26, 2012

BBQ Season for Vegetarians!

It's Spring!  So that means beautiful weather, fresh vegetables and allergies!  Here in Florida we have a very small window of tolerable weather, and it happens to be now.  We enjoy highs of 85 degrees for a few weeks before we start getting all the fun humidity and 100 degree heat!

As a vegetarian I confuse people as to my love for bar-b-ques, but I think it's the fun atmosphere I love most. It is usually laid back and chill.  I will usually make a batch of lentil burgers for myself and anyone else looking for something meat-free, but my meat-eating husband is a pretty big fan of these.  So don't be afraid of them...lentils never hurt anyone!

This recipe is really versatile and I make them different all the time with anything I have on hand.  I've used peppers instead of carrots and tossed in corn.  

Lentil Burgers

  • 1 cup lentils (any kind will work!)
  • 1/2 an onion chopped (I have used both yellow and red)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped or shredded
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Cumin
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Rolled oats or bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
First pick through the lentils for any stones or foreign objects before putting them in a sauce pan.  Cover them with enough water to so it's about 1/2 an inch above the lentils.  Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cover.  You want them to be pretty mushy, so frequently check the level of water and add more if necessary.  They usually cook in about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, either chop the onion, garlic and carrot or throw them into the food processor.  I enjoy the latter because it's faster and you can get a finer chop. 

Now you can either saute this mixture in some olive oil to soften or leave everything raw. (I enjoy the crunch of raw veggies in my burgers, but my husband doesn't so I usually saute everything.) 

When the lentils are tender, mush them with a fork before adding them to the vegetable mixture.  Toss in the spices and mix, then add about 1/4 cup of the rolled oats and stir.  You want the mixture to be firm enough to be able to handle and not fall apart, but not too dry.  I like to make this a few hours before and cover and let sit in the fridge for everything to blend together.

When you are ready to use the mixture shape them into hamburger size patties.  I usually get 6 good size burgers out of this recipe.  These also freeze very well.

There are a few ways you can cook them, I've tried them all and usually opt to just toss them in the oven while everything else is cooking. 

Baking:  Pre-heat the oven to 425 and place the burgers on a baking sheet (I cover mine in foil for easy clean up) that is coated with olive oil.  Bake on each side for 8-10 minutes.

Stove top: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and cook patties until brown on each side. 

The grill is a possibility, but to keep them vegetarian you'll have to cook them on foil with olive oil.  This is annoying so I rarely do it.

Top as you would any burger and enjoy!  My personal favorite with some guacamole and lettuce on a whole wheat bun!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Making an old thing new.

I love the idea of reusing something.  Especially since my budget right now doesn't allow me to buy non-essentials.  We leave for our honeymoon this coming Saturday so I wanted a clutch to go with the shoes I glitterized for our wedding reception.  I grabbed an old clutch from about 8 years ago and went to work.  I used the standard method of gloss Mod Podge and glitter.  The Martha Stewart glitter is amazing for these projects, but any glitter will do. 

This is so easy you won't even believe it!

1.  Pour Mod Podge into a container you can seal. (In my case it was a plastic cup with a piece of foil I put over the opening.)  This will keep your mixture from hardening in between coats.

2.  Add the glitter!  The amount of glitter you add will depend on the amount of coverage you want.  Since this wasn't a wearable item I made my pretty thick and paste-y with glitter!

3.  Apply with a brush!  It dries fairly quick so it doesn't take too long.  Just keep going over the sparse spots until you achieve optimum coverage.

4.  You can put a coat of plain Mod Podge over it but I feel like it is sealed pretty well.

That's it!  Below is my clutch, the bow was just a fabric bow I made then covered in glitter and attached it with hot glue. I also added the shoes I did for our wedding reception (they started out as just black pumps!) and a pair of old Converse I made over.

Happy glittering!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Old habits die hard.

So I always have big intentions for starting/posting in a blog and then they diminish. That's usually how things go in my life.  Start a big (or small, I don't discriminate) craft project and  I'll find something shiny and fun and go there.  Well, no more.

So...what's been going on.  I got married.  It was fantastic and beautiful and everything I could have ever wanted in a wedding.  It wasn't until 3 hours later that I started to feel like complete crap.  I caught whatever stomach bug had been going around and completely ruined our wedding afternoon/night and the next day.  Couldn't fully enjoy staying at Disney's Polynesian.  And I'll stop talking about it now because I'll keep beating myself up over it and take away from the beauty of that day.  But luckily our honeymoon isn't until January.  So we're just going to pretend we got married the day before we board the Disney magic and go along with our happy selves.

I did quite a bit of crafting for the wedding/reception we had a week later.  And done quite a bit for Christmas.  So I plan to start getting some projects up.

And recipes.  I've been cooking up a storm.  Baking us fresh bread.

Here is one of our favorites.  I adapted it from a Rachael Ray recipe that I followed to the tee the first time I made it and it was slightly lacking.  I understand she was going for quick, but it came out kind of soggy and the kale was too crunchy for the my picky husband who needs veggies soft.  So here is what I did:

Fake Bake Ziti with Kale
Adapted from Two Color Fake Bake Ziti


  • 1 lb whole wheat ziti, cooked to slightly under al dente
  • Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped, divided
  • 2 bunches kale, de-stemmed and chopped up.  (We like ours extra green, you can use 1!)
  • Dash of nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 reduced fat ricotta (gotta watch those hips!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cans of Crushed tomatoes (28 oz)  (Sometimes I go wild here and do 1 can crushed, 1 can diced...I know, saucy!)
  • Basil, I chop up a few leaves from the plant my cats like to kill.
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese
Serves 4/6 depending if your husband has a Thor size appetite like mine does.


Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water and cook until a little under al dente.  You're going to bake it in the over a little more, so it will soften up. 

In a large pot, heat a few tablespoons on olive oil and saute the onion. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper (optional) and then add the kale to wilt down.  Sometimes I will add a little bit of the cooking water from the pasta here to help the process along.  After a few minutes, season with salt, pepper and a touch of nutmeg.  Instead of transferring to a plate, this is where I toss in the canned tomatoes, basil and oregano.  I like to let it simmer on low for about 30 minutes, I just like all the flavors to blend and the kale to be cooked through. 

Once done I toss in the cooked pasta and add in the ricotta to the pot of sauce.  Sometimes if I'm feeling crazy I put some Parmesan in too.  The toss it into your casserole dish and top with the mozzarella. I put some foil on it and bake for about 20 minutes.  Then, remove the foil and crank up the heat to broil for 3 or 4 minutes and BAM!  Nice and toasty on top!

Let me know if you try this!

Until next time!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Broke Girl?

So the I broke?  Well.  Sort of. 

Less than a month before our wedding I quit my job.  I was completely unhappy and my Fiance and I decided it would be best for both of our well-beings that I move on and start looking for what will make me happy in life.  I'm a lucky girl.

It hasn't even been  full week yet and I am the happiest I have ever been.

So what is this blog about?  Cooking, crafting and baking my way to happiness.  

Follow me on this adventure?