Tuesday, August 30, 2011

For My Girls

I'm all for being healthy, don't get me wrong. But I'm sick of quotes like, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." 
Really, Kate Moss? Have you ever tasted cake? Or Caesar salad? Or chocolate chip cookies? Or spinach artichoke dip? I could go on, forever quite frankly. Ooh, or hot dogs. 
Back to the point... 
I just want my girls to know skinny is not perfect, and perfection is not attainable. 
I just want them to know they don't have to be a certain size to be pretty. Their personality doesn't have to fit into a certain mold for them to be happy and enjoy life.
I just don't want them to be afraid to be themselves like I was.
Is that too much to ask?




Friday, August 26, 2011

White Wedding Cake Cupcakes + Chocolate Buttercream Frosting = Drool

Yesterday, I made these White Wedding Cake Cupcakes...

Simply because I could. And they were delicious. I LOVE white cake with chocolate frosting. They go together perfectly.
And the recipe for the cupcakes is super easy! It starts out with a regular white box cake mix, but spruces it up to a heavenly, wedding-worthy cake.

The icing recipe came from Wilton's, so you already know it's amazing. But seriously... Holy. Nut. It's so chocolatey and smooth and... Just perfect. The way frosting should be. I didn't take pictures because my phone is the only camera I have, and I needed the games on my phone to keep the girls busy while I made (and hid) these.

But I'll post the recipes here for you, just so you don't have to go all over.

I wish I had more friends that were getting married. I love wedding cake way too much...

White Wedding Cake Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need approximately 36).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.

3. Fill about 3/4 full-between 1/4 and 1/3 of a cup. Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Buttercream from Wilton's
Ingredients:
1/2 C solid vegetable shortening
1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C cocoa OR 3-1oz unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 C confectioners sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
3-4 T milk

Directions:
1. Cream shortening and butter together.
2. Add vanilla and cocoa. Mix well.
3. Beat in sugar, 1 cup at a time. Once sugar is completely incorporated, add milk and beat until light and fluffy.
Keep in an air-tight container, refrigerated until ready to use. Rewhip before using.

Try to leave some in the bowl for the cupcakes. But feel free to lick the beaters. {:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wed... Thursday?

I know, I am late. But I spent the better part of today thinking it was Tuesday. I'm not sure how I lose days like that, but it happens. Forgive me?

This will be just a quickie:

100 Days of Real Food

I'm not ready for one week, let alone 100 days, but it's definitely something to think about. I don't think I could give up cupcakes. Or cookies. Or chocolate...

However, she provides recipes, eating real food on a budget, even a list of healthier snacks for school!

Go have a look and tell me what you think. Is this something you could do? Are you already doing it? Does it scare you to death?

Thoughts.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pinned

As previously stated I, too, am one of the many Pinterest addicts.
These are a few of my favorite pins,
plus some things I hope to try next week:

“I get worried for young girls sometimes; I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent, and not so withered and shriveled.” —Amy Poehler

Grilled Pizza - quick, easy, and looks delish!
Click the picture to go to her blog for the how-to.
 
I'd like to do a paper cut of this design. Love the water and the boat and I think it would look great on paper. Click the picture to see how to buy it.


(This isn't from Pinterest, but I want to try it this next week anyway.) 
I made some labels in Paint last week and I'd like to print a couple, stain the paper with coffee or tea, and see how they look on some of my glass jars.

What are your plans for next week?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Web Wed - The Only Hacks You'll Ever Enjoy: Seriously

I have been waiting so patiently for this product to come in the mail. When I found their site and read all about this stuff, I got really excited. When Jane, one of the creators of said product told her assistant to send me some from her desk, I was ecstatic. (Yes, I get excited about a ton of things. But I have the mind of a three-year old. Mkay?)
It came in the mail yesterday and hot dang was I happy.

The "stuff" is called Sugru and it is AMAZING.

First of all, this has been 5 years in the making.
Second of all, this is the new formula making it even better now that it was before.

Continue.
Sugru is silicone, but like modeling clay when you first get it out of the package. You can mold it to any shape onto almost any product. It adheres and can form a strong bond to glass, aluminum, steel, plastic, and so many other materials. It cures at room temperature to a tough flexible silicone overnight using moisture from the air.
Sugru is resistant from -76°F all the way to 356°F. It gets hot and/or cold, but won't get softer, harder, or melt.
Because Sugru is silicone, it is totally waterproof. You can wash it with soap and water, and even get it in sea water.
When it cures it is flexible so you can use it on things that need to move. Some good examples shown on the site are cables, shoes, and textiles.

Get this: once cured, Sugru can go in the washing machine or dishwasher.
As a mom, that is a good thing.
Have you ever seen The Incredibles? Remember Edna Mode?
"And machine washable, darling. That's a new feature." We're always looking for things to make our lives easier, right?

Below are just a couple of things I can use Sugru on, but on the site, there is a whole gallery dedicated to pictures Sugru users have sent in. Things they've hacked to rescueimprove, personalize, or just save money. On one of the hacks, I even saw someone had rubbed metallic eyeshadow into the Sugru before it cured. See it here.

I have quite a few things that need hacking, but I'll just show you my two Xbox 360 controllers. My husband likes to chew on things and he passed that horrible trait to my 2 year-old. Case in point:
The first one is so much worse than the second one. And since hubs and I are avid HALO / Call of Duty players, this is a problem. The rough texture bugs me more than the fact that she chewed on them.
Supplies - toy was for texture, but I didn't end up using it... today....
So I whip out my orange Sugru and wha-blamo! (+10 points for awesome sound effects) Looks and feels much better.

It will be easier to remember which one has the AA batteries inside and which one has the rechargeable battery pack.

Sugru comes in orange, green, blue, black, and white. Mine came with a handy little chart that shows how to make new colors (just in case you missed art class in high school.)

Sugru hacks remind me of my cousin Karl. He is awesome at problem solving. When I was younger, he was always finding new and innovative ways to fix/create/awesome-ify everything. He invented this:
Yes, that's me. Behind me is the uber cool Hum-Yota. Spray-painted olive drab.
What: It's a cannon made of a fire extinguisher, a handle from an old fire hose, and pipe. If a potato gun and a tank got busy, this would be their offspring.
Why: Karl is a wildlife firefighter. His crew needed a way to start fires safely.
How: Stick the flare inside and pull the handle. The flare shoots to the site, ignites, and starts the fire while the crew watches safely from a distance.

Sugru was invented for guys like Karl, and hopefully, girls like me. I'll have to send him some and see what he comes up with.

Back in March, Sugru makers found out Sugru was being used on ALL 7 continents. (+5 points if you can name them all) I thought that was pretty awesome. Can you imagine how it would feel to invent something people all over the world could and would use?

Definitely go and check out the colors. I love this stuff and I can't wait to get it in every color.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Freak: It's all in the family... Circus Party!

I have two kids with fall birthdays. Instead of having two friend parties and two family parties, I've decided to have just one of each. That way, my girls each (kind of) get a party, but I'm not inviting everyone twice two months in a row. I'm totally fine with having tons of cake, but four parties in two months would just be ridiculous. (Hubs has a bday in November, so I guess technically we'll be having three parties.)

This year's theme is A Day at the Circus! I'm excited because the decor from this can be converted to Halloween decor. The colors are maroon/burgundy and black, with bursts of golden yellow mixed in. I have found so many fantastic ideas and I'm really excited to get started.

Invitations will look something like this:
I searched all over the internet for free circus fonts, but I was a little worried about downloading anything because all of the sites I found looked a little shady. Then I looked in Microsoft Works Word Processor, which was already on my laptop, and found the fonts you see above. The maroon writing is in Rosewood Std Regular and the black is called Playbill.

For the door, I thought I'd make a sign like this:

Once the kids come in through the doorway, I'll have maroon streamers hanging down. When they enter, I'll have more streamers hanging from the light fixtures to where the wall and ceiling meet. I'm hoping my tiny apartment will look more like the inside of a big top tent.

On the food/dessert table I'll have a maroon tablecloth. I'm going to make a cut in the front, and then use black ribbon to pull it to the sides so it looks like a miniature tent. The menu will consist of hot dogs, buns and condiments, popcorn and cotton candy, colorful swirled suckers, animal crackers, and strawberry lemonade.
(Photo above from a party featured on Kara's Party Ideas)


I found this gorgeous material at a thrift store the other day. I'm debating whether to use it as the backdrop for the photo booth or the food table.

As you may have read on the invitation, the kids have been encouraged to dress up. I'm a little more than excited for our costumes, which will be used for Halloween as well.

My husband will be a lion tamer. He'll carry a whip and have scratches and scars on his arms and maybe even his face. I was giving him options and he chose this. Why he didn't want to be a dancing bear, I'll never know...

My oldest daughter will be a tightrope walker. She'll be wearing a little black dress I found at the DI, creme tights, black shoes, her hair up, and she'll carry a parasol. She wants to be a "switch" a.k.a. a witch for Halloween, so this will be the easiest to convert. Trade the parasol for a broom, add a pointed hat hair clip and we'll be good to go.

My second-oldest will be the ringmaster. I found a little maroon swimsuit that will be perfect! I'm going to make her a little black jacket to go over it, complete with a tulle bustle. Add some creme tights underneath, black shoes, a felt black top hat hair clip and she's all set.

My little boy will be the strongest man, complete with fake brown mustache and little barbell. Easy AND cute. Did I mention easy?

I think I will be some sort of doll that's come to life. I'm not positive yet. I have a black tutu/skirt I wore to Witches Night Out last year and I found a tutorial for a great corset-looking shirt (without the squeeze) here. Add a few embellishments and it would look kind of cool for really cheap. I really like the eye and lip makeup shown below. (But no chola brows for this chica.) I don't think I'll do the stitches though because this is a kid's party. There is a great doll makeup tutorial here by Michelle Phan. The eyes look a little different, but not much.

For the kid party, I was thinking they could watch Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey! whilst eating hot dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy. I know that movie is not really circus-themed, but there's a monkey, a wizard, and an elephant in it. That's close enough, right?

Later we play games and the girls can open presents. After we sing and eat cake I'll send the kiddos home with sugar-highs. Birthday parties are great, aren't they?

If you have any ideas, send them my way! I still need ideas for games in a small living room (besides pin the something on the something) and party favors.

I'll keep posting to show my progress along with regular programming.
Wish me luck!
{:

P.S. The winner of the Lovable Labels giveaway was Sally!

~SALLY~ said...
I follow you both on Twitter @coupons4moms

Congrats!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sidewalk Paint

*Today is the last day you can enter to win the Camp Pack from Lovable Labels*

Back to the sidewalk...
Boredom started taking over our Saturday afternoon. Dad didn't have to go in to work, but we didn't want to go anywhere or spend money. However, we still needed to get out. I looked around and found several recipes for sidewalk paint. Most of them were the same, so I got out my cornstarch, some containers I'd been saving for a project like this, and my old paintbrushes.

The recipe calls for equal parts cornstarch and water, plus a few drops of food coloring. You can add more starch if you want the color to be more intense once the paint is dry, but really, you don't need to.

I used some Neon food coloring (you can buy it pretty much anywhere-WalMart, Target, etc.) We used each one-green, blue, purple, and pink. The green looked more like a sickly yellow, but it still worked. I took pictures of the process and the girls actually painting, but they were deleted before they could be saved. Below are pictures of the girls admiring their artwork.
 They can't just hold their arms up and say, "Ta-da!"
Weird girls. Whose kids are these...? {:
Me: "Cali, show me your artwork."
Cali: *Lays on grass and points* "See?"
 
 (See the big top tent? I've got circus on the brain since I'm planning the girls' birthday party in October.)
 For how chaotic and crazy her personality is, she's very focused on the details in this picture...
I think the girls were watching a bug crawl away, but it had been painted blue so it was camouflaged.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Web Wed

I just finished reading 4+ years worth of blog posts from one author. Slight warning, this may or may not be another Halloweenish sort of post. (In my defense, Halloween is only 81 days away...) The blog featured today is so fun when it comes to ideas for Halloween.

Technically, it is "dedicated to goth beauty, decor, and accessories. This blog will be devoted to projects, news, and suggestions for adding a little darkness to your life."

But to me, it's just an AMAZING resource for all that is Halloween. I'm not into the Ouija boards or tarot cards, but her decor and ideas and her fun Etsy finds... I'm in love with. So. Much.

It is: 
(Lightning streaks through the clouds. Seconds later, thunder rumbles your entire apartment. Lights flicker.)

This link takes you to her blog while the one above takes you to her store.

Some favorite things about The Art of Darkness:

She randomly posts Link Dumps. It's just a list of links with short descriptions. The lists always have at least one treasure in them. Etsy stores, awesome prints, etc.

She also features Seen Online once in a while. Just comments or tweets that are ridiculously funny and/or thought-provoking.

Some Tuesdays are Trivia Tuesdays. "No prizes, but if you can answer them all without googling you get bragging rights." The questions cover just about everything, from horror films to actors, fossils discovered to weird facts, and novels to short stories.

You have to see this.

Tutorial for tile coasters.

She also runs HalloWeddings.com (see why here.)


Like I said at the beginning, I went through and read every post. It took me about a week, but I'm lucky and get to pump for many hours throughout the day. And while I pump, I read books. And when I'm not reading books, I read blogs.
If you're into Halloween, this one is definitely worth checking out.

And I promise, my next post won't be Halloween-related.
Maybe...
{:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Web Wed with Lovable Labels and a GIVEAWAY!

This week for Website Wednesday, I'm featuring a great site with products that are cute AND ever-so helpful.

Lovable Labels was kind enough to send some of their Wire Tags for me to try. Let me tell you, these are heaven-sent in my apartment. We have sooo many cords in several rooms, and it Just. Gets. Annoying. And cluttered. 

When I go to plug in my phone charger, I usually end up unplugging two different lamps and the laptop before I figure out which cord goes to what.

The jungle that is behind my television in our living room...

But I don't have to deal with that anymore because look at this: 
 And this:
 And this too:

Much more lovely, right?
The tags come in bright colors so they're easy to read. There were 12 sheets, each with 10 tags. There were some for home, some for office, some for connection cables, and some for power cables. They were labeled specifically (as you can see above) but they also left some blank for me to fill in myself. (Sewing machine, flat iron, electric chair, etc.) {: 

And these tags aren't just flimsy paper. They're durable and they do NOT tear easily. As soon as I finished putting a few on, my girls got all sorts of curious and decided to check them out. I let them, watching from a distance just to see what would happen. Like the animals they are, the girls tugged and pulled and tried to get them off, but the tags stuck! I let my girls know not to play with them because they weren't stickers like theirs, but I did feel better knowing they wouldn't have them ripped off and stuck to the wall tomorrow.

Not only did Lovable Labels send me these tags to review, but they also supplied me with a "Camp Pack" for one lucky winner! (Big thanks to them!)

To Enter:
Mandatory Entry-Go to the Lovable Labels website and leave me a comment letting me know which of their awesome products is your favorite. Once you've done that you can earn additional entries mentioned below.

Bonus Entries:

-Follow @MyLovableLabels and @NSisifo on Twitter.

-Chirp about this giveaway
For example: #Win a Camp Pack from @MyLovableLabels via @NSisifo at http://nonworking-girl.blogspot.com/

-"Like" Lovable Labels on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall telling them The nonWorking Girl sent you.

-Mention this giveaway on your own blog.

AND REMEMBER: Leave a comment for each entry with a link to either a tweet or a blog, or your Twitter handle.

Thanks everyone, and good luck!

Giveaway Rules and Regulations:
No purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open until August 15, 2011. Winner will be selected by Random.Org and will have 48 hours to respond to the notification e-mail they receive. This giveaway is open to persons 18 years of age and older. Persons must be residents of Canada or the US.

Disclosure:
The product in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced by monetary compensation.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's Coming...

Last week I promised a giveaway, and here we are on Tuesday, without one. Totally my bad. I was getting the hubs ready for a week-long bike/camping trip with the Young Men, and this week, he's gone. This is the longest we'll ever have been apart in our 5+ years together. Whine, whine, I know, but I'm kind of sad. AND my house looks like a disaster area. But I will try to get it up and going by Friday. I hope.

To cheer my lonely self up I have a fun craft/decor item I've been dying to try, so that should be up this week as well. Here's a hint at what it involves...
Did you guess what it is? No?
Huh, weird...
{: