Thursday, June 29, 2017

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When I think of the 4th of July I think of sparklers and bonfires, fireworks and picnics. The movie Sandlot is my go-to for the 4th of July. There's something about that retro charm that is perfect for this holiday. My ideal Independence Day party would be spent enjoying cool breezes and roasting hot dogs, watching movies outside while eating ice cream and then enjoying fireworks cuddled up with the ones I love.

Last year I made some sparkler packets to sell at the town's farmer's market on the 4th. They were such a cute idea that I knew had to make up a template to share for the holiday this year.

To download the .pdf including these templates, CLICK HERE.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

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Ten Things

Thursday, June 22, 2017

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Ten things this week could also be called "giant list of sold out things." Sorry. They're pretty, though!

While I was searching for that Make the World Suck Less Tee, (which I couldn't really find... blah) I browsed through the 55hi's website, and man, their cards are awesome! I especially love their shot glass card and the money cards.

I recently found an Etsy shop that sells teas based on characters. It's called Malfoy Tea Emporium, and I couldn't resist getting teas based off two of my favorite characters, Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and Rhysand from the Court of Thornes and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. They smell so yummy!

Ice cream rolled tacos are a colorful treat trend that I hope makes it to my area sometime in the future. For now, I'll just have to gaze at Sweet Cup's Instagram feed and dream.

There is something about this loft featured on Berenice Big that I can not tear my eyes away from. I think it's the neon light. Or maybe it's the black walls. Or that bird hiding in the corner. Whatever it is, I want to re-create it, pronto.

Speaking of rooms I'd never want to leave, can we talk about this sunroom re-do featured on A Beautiful Mess? Those pillows. The floors. That painting corner. The lighting! Sigh.

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DIY Scratch Off Map

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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I love the concept of scratch off maps because I love the checklist aspect. There's just something about being able to look at the map and realize that you've been to all those places that seems so inspiring to me. And if you look at my map, there are so many places left to go! I can't wait to scratch off different states with my family.


2 Identical Maps
Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush
Contact Paper
Graphite Pencil (2b works well)
Washi or Painter's Tape

Step One: Print your maps. 
I went online and found a free map of the United States then printed two copies. It's important that these maps are exactly the same so make sure to print two right away!

Step Two: Paint your map.
I chose to use watercolors to paint the map. I really wanted to create a rainbow effect, and I knew I would be able to see through the finished result. I had printed my maps on thin paper, which worked okay, but putting it on an actual watercolor paper would have has a much smoother finished product.

This is the step where you can get creative. I've seen really pretty versions of this that are gold underneath, and it would be super easy to modify this tutorial and substitute gold paint for the watercolors. You could also put in pictures, doodle on all the states, the possibilities are kind of limitless!

Step Three: Put on the contact paper.
Contact paper is a beast to use, but a little patience will go a long way. While you are waiting for the paint to dry, cut the paper to be a tad bit bigger than the actual map. Now slowly peel the contact paper off, and lay it on your table sticky side up. Carefully place the map so the colorful side is down,  sticking to the contact paper. Flip it over and use a straight edge (like a credit card) to smooth out all the creases and bubbles.

Step Four: Coloring time!
This step will see a bit tedious, but it is key if you want to be able to easily scratch off your map. Basically, anywhere you cover with wax will make it a hundred times easier to scratch off the paint. So try to color the whole map, staying in the lines as much as possible.

Step Five: Paint.
Now it's time to paint over everything you just did. This is kind of scary to do, I'm not going to lie, but the end result is worth it! Try to paint close to the edges, but make sure you can still see where the paper ends. You're going to need to be able to line it up with your second map. This step should take about two coats. If you paint isn't working with you, try to add a bit of water.

I used black paint because I like the idea of a bold contrast, but any color should work as long as you pick the right paint and paint enough layers that you can't see the map underneath.

Step Six: Make your second map into tracing paper.
This is a trick I've used since high school when I've wanted to transfer lines to a new sheet of paper. While your paint is drying, flip your second map upside down and use a graphite pencil to heavily color over where the lines are on the other side. As you can see by the picture, you want to make sure you have a thick line. You'll be transferring this graphite directly onto your scratch off map.

Step Seven: Line it up.
Once your painted map is completely dry (about an hour should do it) use washi tape or painter's tape to tape the map you made into tracing paper directly above the painted map. Make sure your corners match as exactly as you can make them line up. You can't actually see the map you're tracing onto, so this little attention to detail is super important

Step Eight: Transfer.
Now it's time to trace those lines! Use a pen or pencil to directly trace around the lines of your map. If you did step six right, the graphite on the underside of the map should transfer, and you should be able to pull the map you are tracing up a bit and see lines beneath it. When you pull the map up, try to leave on as much tape as possible so your papers don't shift. Leave the tape on until you've transferred every single line. If you pull it up and find that you've missed a spot, you can use a pencil to draw the missing line.

Step Nine: Trim and frame. 
Measure out the size of the map you want (I printed my map one 8.5x11 paper, but wanted an 8x10 map), and trim it. scratch off the places you've been to and put it in a frame! I had to put mine behind glass because, as you can see, it's a little wrinkly. 

That's it! You're all done! Now it's time to get travelin so you can scratch off more of that map!

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Cake and an Announcment

Sunday, June 4, 2017


If you've read this blog long enough you'll know that I've got a huge crush on Katherine Sabbath's cakes. I've always wanted to try my hand at making one, so I decided the other day that life had given me a good enough reason to bake some sort of creative monstrosity. So here's my newest addition to the long line of weird looking baking I've featured on this blog.

The flavor of this cake was actually totally inspired by my go to Cold Stone ice cream order. The inside is two layers of vanilla cake with a layer of Butterfingers in the middle, and the outside is chocolate icing dyed black. The bark is made of white chocolate, with a recipe that I borrowed from Katherine Sabbath's own web page. (Be sure to check it out, it will have you drooling and running to the store to buy white chocolate). As is the tradition with this blog, and my baking in general, it looks a bit odd, but it tastes pretty good.

So I know that it's not strange for the inside of my cakes to be blue. I would dye all my food blue if I could get away with it. BUT this time there's a reason. This time I've dyed the inside of my cake blue specifically to tell the blog world that... It's a BOY!!

Sweet, huh? I can't get over that adorable profile. I've been pregnant for about 5 months now, and things have been going really well so far. I've been lucky enough to not have to deal with morning sickness, and as far as cravings go I have just wanted to eat a lot of cottage cheese, bacon, and fruit. And raspberry lemonade. Oh, and there was a week when I ate a lot of Starbursts.

We are currently working on a remodel of the upstairs so we can fit everyone into our tiny house. So far, as it usually goes with any sort of large scale house project, we've run into more problems than solutions. But we've got four months to work everything out, whether we like it or not! I'm confident that we'll get everything done, and this boy will have the cutest little nursery. 

My husband and I are nervous but excited for our little monster to be born. I can't wait for all the awesome new memories our family will make. Do you have any advice for the upcoming months?

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