Thursday, October 27, 2011

How to make a Ringleader Jacket

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As with all costumes and DIY, this is simply one way to make a ringleader jacket. There are many different approaches one can take, but this is what worked for me.

Ringleader Jacket

Supplies:

Red jacket
Gold fringe
Variety of gold trimmings
Glitter paint
Card stock
Scissors
Glue gun

Directions:

1. To start off you need a red jacket. Luckily blazers is one of the places thrift stores really shine. I ended up buying mine ($8) in a larger size because it was longer and I was hoping to add coattails to my jacket. Unfortunately that didn't work out. I used another one of my jackets for reference and brought the thrift store blazer in on the sides and shortened the sleeves. If you buy a jacket that fits well you can avoid this step.

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2. After you have your jacket, you're gonna want to get a variety of different gold trimmings. I decided on some gold fringe, gold rick rack, gold rope, and this gold chain type trim. What you get is entirely up to you though.

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3. In order to make the shoulder pieces I cut my card stock in an oval like shape with one end flattened (the end that will be under the collar). Then I simply covered the card stock with some of the extra red fabric I had from step one. Then I simple hot-glued some of the rope to the pieces and added gold fringe along the out rim. To make it look a little more finished I used some glitter paint to fill in the middle. I added a popsicle stick for extra stability.

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4. At this point I started gluing the gold chain-like trim to the jacket. I also added a row of rick rack in the middle. I did this to both sides.

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5. Lastly, you want to glue the shoulder pieces to the jacket. I found it was easiest to use my plastic container to get the should flat, but I'm sure a table corner would work just as well.

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And that's it!

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This obviously isn't my entire costume, but I actually think the jacket goes well with my dress. You could also add some rick rack to the sleeves at the end, but I'm pretty happy with my jacket the way it is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

November Goals

I know November is a week away, but I thought I should make some goals for myself. It's not easy picking up the pieces but it's a little more manageable when you have a clear understanding of what you want. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

1. Start doing the things I love

When everything was going on in my life I stopped doing the things I loved. This is not good. I haven't been reading or crafting and I need to. I'm starting to feel like my old self again, but my hobbies are a huge part of who I am.

2. Get back into blogging

This goes with the one above, but I think it deserves to be on its own. When I lost interest in doing anything blogging was the first thing that suffered. And while I don't think blogging is of some extraordinary significance in my life, I like doing it and I didn't stop because I made the conscious decision to. Plus all the people I've met online have been wonderfully supportive and I don't want to lose those connections.

3. Find a new place to live

This goal is probably the hardest. Not only is it gonna be a pain to actually move and all that, but I have horrible credit so I got to figure out a way around that. I know it'll work out in the end, but it's stressing me out.

4. Be a better friend

As the dust settles on my relationship drama I've come to see that there are ways I can be a better friend. This goal is a little more vague, but I just want to make the effort to turn a few acquaintances into true friendships and make sure some friends are getting all the love and support they deserve.

5. Go out dancing

I haven't been dancing since I first started dating Ryan. Going out is something my friends and I have been talking about forever, but it's time.

6. Accept where life takes me

Ooh this one is vague and all existential isn't it? I just want to live life the best I can without over-analyzing everything. I tend to obsess over things and I'm really trying not to. I want to make a new home for myself with my loved ones and I can't do that if I'm not open to where life takes me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Camping: The Sequel

I don't know what's going on with me, but I went camping again this weekend for my friend Dan's birthday. That means I've gone camping twice this year. I feel like a venerable mountain man.

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We went to some place past Echo Reservoir, but I'm not entirely sure where it was. It was our friend Brett's place and it was quite lovely. Even though I froze during the night, I could see the stars in a way I'd forgotten about. The night had a few surprises and I found something I thought might have been lost. It was a great trip.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kid Friendly Halloween Treats

Here's a roundup of some of the coolest and grossest Halloween treats I've come across. All of them are super simple and totally kid friendly. Kind of makes me sad I didn't pick a traditional Halloween theme for my party. Next year for sure though!

1. Band Aids
2. Jell-O Petri Treats
3. Buried Alive Muffins
4. Swamp Juice for Kids
5. Tombstone Cookies
6. Puking pumpkin Guacamole
7. Eyeball Cookies
8. Used Q-tips

Any kid would love these, but I think the used q-tips are just the right level of gross for Holden. Even though there's no recipe for the guacamole, the picture was too cute to pass up. Plus, it's as straightforward as it gets.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cheddar French Dips with Simple Au Jus

Yes I realize this French Dip is just roast beef on ciabatta, but I still had to share this recipe. I don't know if it's because the weather is changing or I like any excuse to eat bread and gravy, but this sandwich really hit the spot. The au jus was simple and yet dangerously delicious. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stop eating it in fact. This is the perfect recipe for when you don't feel like cooking but you still want something filling.

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The only thing I changed was making a roux (equal parts flour and butter) before adding the water for the au jus. I did this because I wanted a thicker gravy and I didn't want to risk it having a flour taste. Next time I'll probably just use cornstarch though.

Would I make this again? Most definitely.

Cheddar French Dip with Simple Au Jus

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ciabatta rolls, split
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound thinly sliced roast beef

Au Jus:

3 cups water
4 teaspoons beef bouillon (or 4 cubes)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper

Directions:

1. In a small skillet, melt butter. Add garlic; saute for 1 minute. Place rolls on a baking sheet; brush cut sides with garlic butter. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

2. Place the water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; whisk in the beef bouillon. Whisk in the soy sauce, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. (If you like a thicker Au Jus gravy, you can also whisk in a little flour to thicken it.)

3. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, place beef on rolls. Serve sandwiches with remaining broth for dipping. Yield: 4 servings.

Source: Taste of Home and Food.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

Creepy Halloween Treat Labels (Free Printable)

I don't know why, but I love a good label. It just makes everything a little more festive with not a lot of effort. These creepy Halloween labels are just perfection.


You can download the labels here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf

I think I'm addicted to Pinterest. If you follow me on there you'll probably see I get a lot of my post ideas from the site. There's just so much good stuff and when I came across this video I knew I had to post it. I've learned that keeping my neck warm with a good scarf is the difference between loving winter and hating it.



Not only is this really helpful, but I love her editing. She's super adorable.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Pork Chops

I was supposed to post this recipe yesterday, but it looks like I totally spaced out and forgot. Oops!

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a chicken girl through and through. Since I'm a wonderful person though (and oh so humble!), I like to make pork chops for Ryan every once and a while. Even though I love pretty much every other pork product, pork chops have never appealed to me. There's something about the texture that makes me feel like I'm chewing fat. So when I say that these pork chops are amazing and may have changed my opinion about pork chops completely, you know it's got to be something special.

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Maybe it was the honey or the fact these chops are pan fried. I don't know. All I know is I had two servings and am already looking forward to when I can have them again. I know coating the pork chops after they've been fried seems weird, but it was heaven. Simply heaven. Even better, this dish is actually pretty quick to throw together and most of the ingredients will already be in your pantry. I left out the ground sage since I didn't have any and I can't say I missed it.

Would I make this again? I hope my overwhelming love for this recipe has been made obvious by this point.

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Pork Chops

Ingredients:

6 pork chops, well trimmed
2 eggs
4 tbsp water
canola oil

Coating:

1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp ground sage
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Honey Garlic Sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil
3–4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

1. In a bowl mix four and spice to make the coating for the pork chops. Whisk the eggs and water together to make an egg wash.

2. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, then dip the chops in the flour and spice mixture. Dip the chop into the egg wash and then a final time into the flour and spice mix, pressing the mix into the chop to get good contact.

3. Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chops do not brown too quickly on the outside before they are fully cooked on the inside (just below medium heat works well). Fry the pork chops gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.

Drain on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before dipping the cooked chops into the Honey Garlic Sauce. Serve with noodles or rice.

For the dipping sauce:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil and garlic. (Do not let the garlic brown.) Then add the honey, soy sauce, and pepper to the pan. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.

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Source: Rock Recipes

Monday, October 3, 2011

Prim and Proper

I posted a tutorial for a really simple hair style a little bit ago, but I found that I couldn't actually get my hair to work the way I wanted to. This hairstyle on the other hand is golden. I'm positive no one could mess it up and I feel so fancy when I wear it.


This image has been all over pinterest, but I finally gave it a go last week. I'm happy to say it's already become on of my favorite hairstyles. My hair is always a little less sleek than in the image and I tend to tuck my hair in more so everything is tighter (plus my hair is shorter). Either way I adore it though. While the girls from The Beauty Department are calling it a modern chignon, I don't think that's fully accurate. Either way it's awesome.