Monday, November 30, 2009

holiday kisses

No mistletoe involved, I decided to try and make these amazing peanut butter cookies my sister makes every year at Christmas time. I was so lucky as to find a hershey add in the holiday issue of Good Housekeeping, and it was for hershey kisses peanut butter blossom cookies. I was like "omg - those are the cookies i love". Here is my attempt to make them.

First I had to remove all the prettyful wrappers. Easily done with only one casualty along the way. So much chocolate really is tempting.

Then you need to mix the ingredients in a big bowl. (See the recipe below). Peanut Butter smells so dang good, but I resisted tasting the dough, knowing how good these cookies are when finished.

Then, roll into one inch balls. Then roll those in sugar. Yum. I do love rolling cookiedough balls in sugar.

Then bake. After 8 - 10 minutes ( don't be fooled and think they're not cooked. Overcooked peanut butter cookies get hard) remove from oven. Now kiss each cookie...with a chocolate kiss, and let cool. Then indulge all you freakin' want!

Delightfuly Delicious Hrsheys Kisses Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe

48 hershey's kisses (I used milk chocolate)

1/2 c shortening

3/4 c peanut butter

1/3 c. granulated sugar

1/3 c. brown sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

granulated sugar (for rolling)

1. Heat oven to 375 F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl. Add granulated sugar and brown sugars; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen.

See more at

Saturday, November 28, 2009

quick holiday centerpieces

So my Mum was in charge of a christmas dinner at church, and she mentioned that she needed some centerpieces for the tables. The budget for decor was really small, so she asked if I could help her find/make something pretty and stick within the budget.

I was excited by the challenge, and immediately rummaged through our craft room for supplies. I found a collection of these great, deep red baskets. I also found some large bunches of fake poinsetta. The perfect foundation.

We then took a quick trip to the dollar store to see what I could find to go with this. I bought a floral block, a bouquet of sparkly mini pears, a package of holly berries, and 3 pretty gold wire reindeer. All this for $6.00, four dollars under buget.

I took my supplies home, snipped, arranged and voila, lovely centerpieces! What do you think? I've got lots of supplies left over too, so I'm going to make more holiday decorations. Hopefully it inspires you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

delightful dozen

After seeing the cards I had created on Monday, I saw that look of "I want some" in my Mum's eyes. So on Tuesday I set down to work making her a dozen of her own individual cards.

I had six pretty sheets of paper, so I did two of each. I put my new stamps and punches to work again, and was quite pleased with the result. So was Mum. She said she couldn't pick a favourite, that she liked them all. But I'm slightly more baised than that, the purple one in the bottom set is my fav, with its sweet little bow and scalloped edges.

So tell me, which one is Your favourite and you'll be entered to win 6 handmade greeting cards just for you! Sent express just in time for you to hand them out to your friends & family!! (see yesterday's blog for more info on the contest!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

going card crazy

This past Saturday, we had an activity at church where we put together these five gorgeous christmas cards. My very talented friend Natalie designed the poinsetta, tree, and snowflake one, while I design the argyle and the one with the bow. Everyone had a good time remaking these cards for themselves. These cards were just the beginning...

On Sunday I designed these sweet birthday cards. I'm so hooked on card making right now. Natalie has inspired me to use more than just paper and stamps for my cards, I've started using ribbons, flowers, brads and buttons. I even bought some fancy new Martha Stewart punches. (thank goodness for Michael's coupon which made the punches half price for me!).

On Monday after going to Value Village for the 50% off sale, I could not resist stopping in at Michael's. I was so close....And I saw these adorable Christmas stamps in the $1.50 bin, and well...I bought five. And of course I could not wait to use them sooooo...

I proceeded to make more Christmas cards. I was really pleased with how these ones turned out, and I felt quite proud to have done them all on my own. Let me know which Christmas card is YOUR favourite, and you'll be entered to win a set of 6 handmade greetings cards. The draw closes Wednesday, November 25th, and the prize will be shipped express on the 26th so you'll get them just in time to hand them out to friends & family!!

thrifty tuesday

Yesterday was a good day for thrifting. Value Village was having a 50% off sale all day. So naturally, I had to go and see if I could wrangle any brilliant finds from the racks. The store was absolutely packed, so my friend and I split to shop in our sections (she had to look at maternity clothes), and we shopped with intent.

We each found a handful of things, waited in the line to get a dressing room, tried them on, and we both got lucky. While she found herself some practical pants, I walked away with three stellar dresses!

The first one is actually cheetah print, with a hankerchief hem and a sweet ribbon. I wasn't sure I could pull off the animal print, but, I fell in love with it once I saw it on. The second dress is black with white polka dots. Its so swooshy and has an asymetrical hem. It has a matching belt, but when I do wear it, I think I'll swap the belt for something with colour. And lastly, an unworn black shift dress. So perfect for the upcoming holidays, and the possibilities to modify it are endless. I'm going to put my thinking cap on and see what embellishments I can add to make this dress my own. And all of these, half price! What a thrifting extravaganza indeed.

I also picked up the Value Village coupon calendar, and will be sure to post what I buy each month with my coupon. Happy thrifting everyone!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

french twist

I have always thought there was something so elegant about the french twist. Its like the perfect updo, and you can't see any unsightly elastics, pins or clips. I've tried it many times over the past ten years, with varying lengths of hair, and never once could I get it to work for me. I would buy hairstyle magazines and follow the directions to the 't', but to no avail. My hair would just unravel and fall down. On Sunday I solved the mystery of my failure. I had always used bobby pins, which apparently are very different from hair pins. As seen in the picture, hair pins are rounded and don't press shut firmly like a bobby pin.

Well...They worked like a charm! My hair was wet, I twisted it up, used these new 'hair pins' which I had bought and lo and behold, a french twist that lasted all day. I was so amazed I had to post about it. In case anyone else is wondering how to get their hairstyles to stay in place, and bobby pins aren't doing the trick...Go and buy some hair pins in your hair colour. They're magic I tell you. I'm probably going to have my hair up like this on a regular basis for the next little while, just because I am so enamoured with it. So here is a shot of how it looks when I do it (practice will make perfect, I'm sure).

Leave a comment on how you think it looks, or any tricks you might have to make french twists (or any great hairstyle) look good and stay in. Also, be sure to vote in the poll, and leave a comment on the November 12th post, to be entered into Daisy's Goodie Giveaway to win some free doggy stuff.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Daisy's Goodie Giveaway!

In celebration of November being the month in which I adopted Daisy from the local shelter, and also the month of her birthday, we wanted to extend the celebration to our blog readers. As I have been in scrapbook mode lately, Daisy's album is now complete too, but I've got so many stickers left over, I thought I'd share them. I also made some pretty stamped note cards, and sewed some sweet bandanas. Daisy is seen above, modelling the medium size. And I picked up this sweet pocket puppy calendar for 2010. So how can you win these goodies? Simply leave a reply here on the blog and tell me a little bit about Your four legged friend!! Leave an email address where you can be reached and your name will be entered in the draw which will take place on November 30th, Daisy's third birthday!

Good luck, and also, remember to vote in the blog poll, it helps me know what you're interested in!!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

fdwdaisy tester

Over the weekend I found these little bottles from Wilton for candy making. I thought they were a brilliant idea and they would help me fill molds alot easier, with less mess. So I decided to buy them (they were only $2.79 for the pair) and give them a try. I documented the test to share with you.

You need a squeeze bottle, some candy melts, or chocolate melts like I used, and a candy mold. Mmm....chocolate...

The instructions were to fill the bottle half way with the melts. I filled it 3/4 because let's face it; the more chocolate the merrier.
Then you need to place the bottle in a bowl of warm water. Warm seemed to me like it would cool too quickly, so I boiled water and set it in that instead. While its melting, knead the bottle to help the candies melt and smooth out.
I thought the boiling water was a perfect opportunity for some hot chocolate. Unfortunetly, we were out of marshmallows....I did spruce it up with a dash of peppermint extract though.
When the candies are all melted and you've kneaded it really well, it should be smooth and ready to fill the molds. Well...Everything worked great until this step. Look at the tiny stream that comes out...and you would not believe the amount of squeezing it took to get that! I filled one mold about half way and gave up, using a spoon (the old method) to dig out the chocolate and spoon it into the molds. The bottle also did not keep the melts very warm, so they started solidifying early, leaving my daisies with lumpy backs.
But the daisies are still cute right? And yes, I chose to make daisy chocolates because I'm celebrating my Daisy all month long. Though, as much as she may want to, she can't have these treats. My final verdict on the squeeze bottle method for doing candy melts is three daisies out of ten. Good idea, but it just did not work as well as it should have. I am going to cut the tips off more, and see if I can't increase the flow that way. But I still need to solve the hardening chocolate issue, which might require lots of fresh hot water. I'll let you know how test number two goes.
Let me know if you found this helpful. Have you tried the squeeze bottle method? Did it work or make more work?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

flickr fashion inspiration : Monikulus

Each month I am going to spotlight someone who inspires me, and for the first one I've decided to showcase Monika. I've been watching her on flikr for some time, and something that stood out to me very early on was how defined her style and colour palette were. There is just a distinctive look that is just so her. Simple pieces paired together in colours like black, greys and tame blues.

So Naturally when I see clothes fitting this bill, in my mind springs the term "that is so Monika". Like this ( dress which I recently thrifted, it reminds me so much of her and her unique style. But she can do this look far more justice than me, after all, it is unique to her. She was good enough to allow me to interview her, and share what she had to say about style with you. It was wonderful to get to know her better, and learn where her inspiration stems from.

1. What sort of work do you do,
and how does it affect your wardrobe?

M - Recession is not a good time to mention that I work for the Bank. I like my job very much, but to be honest I
treat it like a temporary one. I dream about opening my own art gallery. (There are a few other emergency options, but I prefer not to mention them, its bad luck). I definitely want to do something for myself. I suppose my work has an impact on my wardrobe and style of dress, but certainly it does not determine it. I try to add a piece of me to my everyday work outfits - thank god I was not kicked out of my job yet.

2. What are some of your favourite
designers, or inspirations in the fashion industry

M - I love D&G and Dries Van Noten. I like DKNY and absolutely admire Vera Wang. She is so sophisticated, and yet subtle and delicate. I like the most simple things paired with some sharp details. And above all, femininity, but maybe in a less obvious way.
I do appreciate good quality, even when its not a designer label. Most of the time I end up doing my shopping on Zara.

3. If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they

M - I would love to say; creative, feminine and friendly but its not really up to me to say that. It's
really hard to describe myself.

4. What three words describe your style?

M - Simple, I like effortless chic, and unique fashion, I try not and base it off current trends.

5. What is one of your favourite outfits, or pieces you own/have worn?

M - I'm trying to think hard, and
I can not think of one piece I can't live without. I like dresses and skirts,
does this count?

6. Have you ever had a fashion disaster or worn something you felt unfashionable in?

M - I'm sure it happened to me
more than once. I remember once I wore too many pieces of jewelry with a
patterned jacket and a sort of green bag - when I was browsing the stores
eventually I noticed in one of the mirrors that I actually looked more like a
Christmas tree.

7. Which do you prefer, gold, silver, or bronze jewelry?

M - When I was younger I wore alot of silver; now I prefer gold. Though I've been mixing alot of gold and silver lately.

8. What is your favourite way to
spend an afternoon?

M - I actually love being around people. I love socializing in any possible way...I tend to go to the cinema alot. Sometimes, when I am tired I stay home with my partner and do absolutely nothing, just enjoying being lazy.

9. What made you decide to start blogging?

M - I actually started blogging not that long ago. I'm not sure if I had any particular reason but to see if there was any space out there for me in the depths of the internet...and all these lovely and so fashionable people!

Thanks so much to Monika for being a part of this. Check out her blog, Style Filter, located under my Inspiration Links in the sidebar.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

scrap crazy

I have to admit that it had been a couple of years since I sat down and did some serious scrapbooking. I've twittered away at Daisy's mini scrapbook now and then, but nothing like the past two days.

I've been bitten, bad. Two whole days spent scrappin' or shopping for more supplies! I have managed to complete all my grade twelve pictures (which is where I left off), including prom and graduation...zoom through the next couple of years onto College Graduation and now I've just finished last summer. Twenty three pages, completely done, it is really quite a satisfying thing to accomplish. So I am nearly up to date, which means I'll be looking for every opportunity to take pictures and have something to make a new page for.

Now, if you're not a scrapper yourself then you may not realize, but scrapbooking is an expensive hobby. Or it can be, if you go to Michael's and get caught up in all the fantabulous things you can buy to preserve your memories in prettier ways. But fear not! I can't afford to shop at Michael's without my trusty coupons, but I have found some wonderful items elsewhere at amazing prices.

For example, I went to the Dollarama and bought several packs of gorgeous lettering stickers, double alphabet for a dollar each. Compared to the $6.49 that Michael's would charge, its literally a steal of a deal. I got a box of sparkly cardboard letters, puppy paw stickers and pretty paper, all for a dollar. Other options for budget conscious scrapbook supplies are Wal-Mart, where the exact same products tend to be about two dollars cheaper than their competitors.

The best place to buy supplies and get the most value for your money, is most definitely Winners!! If you're considering starting your own memory keepsake album, I suggest you start there. You can get the most beautiful 12 x 12 albums for 8 dollars, less in the states I would suppose. I also picked up a lovely paper pack yesterday for five dollars, and it included more than seventy patterned and solid papers, beautiful lettering stickers, and pretty cut outs to frame pictures or journal areas. You couldn't get all that for less than forty dollars at Michael's.

Not surprisingly I've got to go back and work on some more pages. Creativity is just surging through my veins these days and I want to get these things done. Hope I've inspired you to start or get back into this wonderful hobby that will make your memories last a lifetime!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

wednesday musings

I spent the entire afternoon yesterday with a recent friend of mine, making holiday cards. She used to design scrapbook pages and cards professionally, and was willing to let me join in on her latest project. We're designing cards for a card-making activity at church later this month, and needed some options to show the ladies and get them excited. Natalie's cards looked amazing, and with her help my samples looked pretty spiffy too.

If you're like me, you'll agree that there is something special about receiving handmade cards. Making them too is just a wonderful. So now I've been bitten by the scrapbooking bug again and had to make a run to Michael's for some new supplies. I foresee much paper, stickers, and cards in my future. Don't worry, you'll get to see what I'm up to.

Natalie was also so wonderful as to suggest to me some awesome links for free backgrounds for my blog. I'm certain you noticed fdwdaisy's makeover. This one is compliments of Aqua Poppy Designs. She has also offered to help me design a header for the blog that will replace my crappy paint one.

In other news, I've pulled together a few things for the Daisy Goodie Giveaway. I've made some sweet bandanas, and bought some cute puppy stuff. More info about the giveaway will be coming shortly, and a picture of the prize too. So keep checking in, and let me know how you are enjoying the blog. Be sure to vote in the lastest poll too!


Monday, November 2, 2009

polished g.i.jane

Last night I was perusing for some fashion advice. Looking for trends I might like to try or for some general wardrobe inspiration. I finally came across a slideshow from the Spring, which had a promising find.

Dressed up khakis...Who would have thought it was possible? The very nature of khaki material is extremely casual and comfortble. So how genious is it to pair something so casual with a fancy silky top? Um....pretty darn brilliant, that's what.

The picture on the left appealed to me most, and so I tried to replicate the look to suit me. It made my outfit feel new, putting things together in this new combination. You know how sometimes outfits feel the same, because you wear them so often, in one way? But then you switch things up, pair up unlikely candidates and somehow it feels like you've added to your closet, when in fact no money was required to freshen things up. That is such a satisfying feeling. See my flickr page for details on what I'm wearing.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think of the combination. Do you think it works for fall? Would you try it? If you have or do try the look, send me the photo so I can see how it worked for you! Cheers.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Daisy Mondays in November

Right, so I've never denied that I am one of those slightly ridiculous people who 'love' their pets a crazy amount. Today is Daisy's second anniversary of being adopted from the local shelter! This dog has made my life so wonderful, and I love her so much that I simply must celebrate. Its completely true what they say about love an animal and you will receive it so much more in return.

Today is her Happy Adoption Day, and to celebrate I baked her delicious doggie treats, which coincidentally are both nutritious and cheap. Yay! That scottie cookie jar was a sale find at Winner's which Mum gave to her (daisy) last Christmas.

While I am not so crazy to throw her a party and invite her doggie pals, I am borderline...So I have done up little treat bags for her pals (a.k.a - my clients' dogs).

Because her adoption day is at the beginning of the month, and her birthday at the end, I've decided to do a wee bit of celebrating all month long. Every Monday's post will be dedicated to something dog related. Also, at the end of the month there will be a Daisy Goodie Giveaway, open to all of my blog readers. Keep posted for more info about the giveaway!

movies, pumpkins & puppies

So for Halloween this year, I went to my sister's place. It was my pleasure to watch a slew of movies, carve pumpkins, and escort my nieces trick or treating. (Daisy accompanied us of course).

Now here at home we have not had cable tv since I was five. And over the course of the past three years I have not watched tv at all. I may pop in a dvd a couple times a month, but that's all the tv is used for. I simply don't have time to be a slave to the tv and the contradictory messages it presents. However, its a totally different situation when at my sister's. Tv watching is like a marathon sport. While I can't totally not watch tv (that would be rude to segregate myself so much from the family) I do give in and watch some stuff.

So what did I watch? Here's a list and what I thought of them:

-Thirteen ghosts, a major halloween cheesefest

-Young Frankenstein, I've decided Gene Wilder is crazy in everything he does

-Alvin & the Chipmunks meet the Wolfman, by far the best halloween movie I saw this weekend. Those darn chipettes are just too cute!

-Halloweentown, kid's cheese, but it did have the chick who played April in the first Ninja Turtles Movie

-The Family Stone, very cute family movie

-The Proposal, way too predictable, not that entertaining for me

So I think it's obvious which movie I was most thrilled to watch. Those dang chipmunks are so lovable.

Taking my nieces trick or treating was alot fo fun this year. We had perfect weather, clear skies and it was warm too! Great night to be out walking from house to house and getting loaded with candy. Of course, I didn't get loaded, i just stole candy from the girls. But Daisy looked rather fine in her harlequin costume and glowstick necklaces (safety first!).

Here's a shot of her and the pumpkin I carved. Everyone else took like, fifteen minutes to do their pumpkins, and there I was, attempting something beyond my ability to do well. Forty-five minutes later...Here is the result. Hopefully you can at least tell what it is.