Sunday, June 30, 2013

Life Lately

I decided to change up the way I do my monthly wrapup/lately posts because I don't really want to talk about myself quiiite that much. So here it is: one all-encompassing post with regurgitated instagram pics, boring life updates, and links I found throughout the month.

Lately I've been:
  • Feeling: sick (just for a few days) // hungry (always) // really happy with my life and all the people in it
  • Working on: lots of DIY projects for my apartment // creating an actual budget to keep my spending in check (a.k.a. I need a beer allowance)
  • Missing: being at the lake with my friends // practicing yoga regularly
  • Looking forward to: going to Chicago later this month // more nights out with friends
  • Watching: I recently finished s1 of Girls and s2 of Veronica Mars so I'm going to continue with those two, but I'm also looking for some good shows that are on Netflix so give me some recommendations!
  • Reading: Paper Towns by John Green and I just ordered Divergent/Insurgent so I'm pretty excited to finally start that series
  • Eating: ice cream pretty much every single day

Goals for July:
  • Save money! 
  • Clean out my closet and the rest of my apartment so I can have a swap with friends and then get rid of the rest at a garage sale later this year
  • Finally actually really really launch my vintage shop

Fun Links:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DIY Silver Lamps

I told you I've been painting everything in sight lately. So I decided to give my plain garage sale lamps a little upgrade as well.

This is another one of those DIY projects that doesn't require a lot of explanation because it's so simple. All you need is an old lamp, some metallic spray paint, tape and a couple of plastic bags. Cover the cord and the lightbulb part of the lamp with the plastic bags and tape them in place. Spray the rest of the lamp on all sides and let it dry. That's it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DIY Idea: Chalkboard Table

Okay, this isn't a DIY because it's so easy. You just put chalkboard paint on a table. And I'm certain it isn't a new idea because people have literally already put chalkboard paint on everything possible. But I made this chalkboard table and I think it's cool and I just wanted to show you guys. So that's it.

An Extra Sappy Post About Friendship

So I spent the last several days on vacation at my friend's lake house with about 20 of my nearest and dearest. We go on this trip every year, and it's always one of the highlights of my summer. But this year I'm just feeling extra happy about it, and wanted to say how much I love all of these people.

No matter what is going on with my life, they make me smile every single day. Whether you have a big group of friends or just a few close ones, I hope you realize how important they are and I hope you let them know. So this is me letting my friends (both online and off) know that you are the bee's knees or the cat's pajamas or whatever you want to call it. I love you all.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fruit Pizza Dessert Recipe with A North Star in an Eastern Sky

I'm out of town for a few days so Kara generously offered to guest post so that this blog wouldn't get too quiet. I'm really into this recipe idea that she posted and I think I'm probably going to have to try it as soon as I get home. Make sure to check out Kara's blog, A North Star in an Eastern Sky for more great stuff!


A few months ago my cousin brought over a fruit pizza dessert to a family potluck and I've been dying to try my hand at making it myself. I loved how easy it was to make, but looked impressive and tasted even better. Warning: make sure you've got a party to bring this to, otherwise you will eat the whole fruit pizza at home.

  • 1 tube croissant dough
  • 1 8oz. package plain cream cheese
  • 1 8oz. package whipped topping
  • 1 21oz. can strawberry pie filling
  • 2 bananas (or other fresh fruit as desired)

Preheat the oven as directed on your croissant dough. Prep your cooking sheet by spraying with nonstick spray, then POP open your croissant dough. Unroll the dough, keeping it in a sheet. Lay the dough out on your cooking sheet. You may have to stretch some of the edges to fill in any holes that are created. Once your oven is preheated, pop the dough in and cook. Consult the dough package for cooking times (mine stayed in for 10-12 minutes.)

Once your dough has cooked into a beautiful, flaky, golden-brown crust, remove from oven (but leave in the pan) and allow to cool to room temperature. Make sure that the crust has completely cooled before adding any toppings, otherwise they will melt. Feel free to stick the crust into the fridge to speed up the process. While the crust is cooling, begin mixing your "pizza sauce."

Scoop out about 3/4 of your whipped topping and a little less than half of your cream cheese, putting them into a mixing bowl. Combine using a hand mixer on low setting until the cream cheese is thoroughly combined (no chunks please!) Give it a taste test. If it tastes decadent and rich, then you're set. If it's too cream cheesey, then add a bit more whipped topping, or if it just tastes like whipped topping then add some more cream cheese. When it's delicious, set the topping aside and begin slicing your fresh fruit.

After your crust is sufficiently cooled and you've prepped all your other ingredients, it's time to assemble! Spread an even layer of your whipped topping over the crust. Then, lay out the fresh fruit. Then, pour your strawberry pie filling over the top of everything. You can eat it right away (to be honest, we did), but it tastes even better if you let the whole thing chill for about half an hour.

This is such a great summertime dessert because it involves minimal baking (who wants to heat up the oven for hours on a hot, summer day?) and is a great use of all that yummy fresh fruit. By switching up the fruit, you can create tons of different flavors, too. I'd love to try it with kiwi! I'd love to hear about your favorite summer desserts in the comments below.

Kara is a Minnesotan living on the East Coast. After a brief stint in grad school, she's just trying to figure out what comes next. In her free time, she loves to watch TV from the '90s and practices making chai lattes at home. She muses about life on the East Coast, cooking with minimal contents of her fridge, and diys at her blog: A North Star in an Eastern Sky.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

3 Ways: Grilled Cheese

So I'm trying to be a little more creative with my meals around here. I still don't plan to make any 5-course masterpieces, but I figured maybe I could (sometimes) take a break from frozen chicken and McDonald's. Grilled cheese has always been one of my go-to meals, so here are three ways I was able to (slightly) veer away from my food routine.

1. gouda and bacon

2. havarti and avocado slices

3. jack and cranberries

Do you have a favorite way to make grilled cheese?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summertime Iced Tea Cocktail

I'm not a big long island iced tea fan. I think this is mainly because I like regular iced tea and I don't like things that taste bad... So I set out to modify it enough so that I'd like it. It's a tough job, I know. Here's what I came up with.

In a large pitcher, mix 2oz each of rum, vodka, gin, and simple syrup. Fill the rest of the pitcher with unsweetened iced tea, then add a teaspoon of lemon zest and add a few lemon slices for garnish. You can cut down the recipe to just make a cup, but since this is a lot less intense than your average "iced tea" beverage, it's more feasible to make a pitcher to share with friends on one of those hot summer nights.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What I Wore

I don't have too much to say about this outfit, except that this awesome jacket will be for sale soon. I mostly just wanted to show off my cool Instagram wall that I put up in my living room a few weeks ago.

Outfit details: vintage jacket, Ross shirt, h&m skirt
Similar: 1/2/3

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Snazzin' Up My Shades

Sorry for the title. I'm really tired and a little slap-happy. But anyway, this is a post about how you can use a paint marker to really easily make your sunglasses less boring.

Some ideas: make little polka dots, draw stripes, make parentheses around the eyes or even draw some little cat eye accents. My workmanship on these might not be the greatest, but it's actually pretty easy to clean them off and start over if you do it right away. Do you have any other ideas?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Painting Everything

I don't know why, but lately I've just been wanting to paint everything in my apartment. I've painted tables, lamps, pots, and who knows what else. But my biggest project so far has been this side table in my living room.

I received a sample of Plaster Paint from the folks at Wonderland and Company, so that's what I used on the table. I was surprised by how easy it was to use and how smooth it looked at the end (since I'm not really a great painter, and usually stick to spray painting things for that reason).

But I think it looks pretty good, no? I'm not sure yet if I want to paint the top the same color, use a different color, or maybe use some wallpaper that goes with it or something? I'm also considering painting my dark brown coffee table with this. What do you think??

I received the Plaster Paint used in this post for free. Opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Summer List

Every summer I make a list of things I want to do. And every summer, there are things left on the list that I didn't do. So I'm trying to be realistic this year, but I just really get ambitious during this time of year I guess (not normally a problem I have the rest of the year). Also, by "ambitious," I'm mostly referring to doing things (or talking about doing things) that are strictly fun and don't actually further my career or necessarily better myself as a person. But who really cares about those things, right?

So here it is:
  • go camping
  • plant an herb garden that is more successful than last year's attempt
  • visit a winery
  • outdoor yoga as much as possible
  • go on a semi-spontaneous road trip
  • have a successful vacation with my best friends
  • go to the zoo
  • ice cream every day
  • find some cool stuff at garage sales
  • go to the beach and build an awesome sandcastle
  • shop at farmer's markets
  • have mimosas for breakfast as often as possible
  • go on a picnic
  • fly a kite
  • bonfires and s'mores all the time
  • buy a bike
  • have a huge water balloon fight

Upon reading this list, I have concluded that it's been more or less the same since I was about 5. I think that's fine, yeah? What's on your summer list?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Nail Art"

I'm constantly amazed by the crazy art that creative people can make with nail polish. My fingernails have been painted pretty consistently since I was about 8 and I like art and trying new things, so I thought I'd give this whole "nail art" thing a shot. Conclusion: waste of my time.

Now, before any nail artists get offended, I still think it's really cool when other people do it. I'm just not good enough at it and don't have the patience. I did try three different designs and got a lot of compliments on them, but letting two or more different colors dry in between painting my nails was just a little much for me. And all the little imperfections kind of bummed me out.

So what do you think? Have you ever tried nail art?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

DIY TV Stand Doors

Sometimes I feel like all my DIY projects here are things that I make out of garbage that I just can't bring myself to throw away due to my hoarder-in-training status. And this one's no exception. Here's an upcycled TV stand made out of an old box.

What you need:
  • cardboard box
  • wrapping paper
  • scissors
  • tape
  • hot glue
  • button

Start out by measuring the front of your TV stand from top to bottom and side to side. You'll want to cut two pieces of cardboard so that they match the height of the stand and take up just over half of the width. Then wrap the two pieces separately with wrapping paper.

Using a hot glue gun, make two lines along the top and bottom of the stand to serve as tracks to keep the doors in place, but that will allow them to slide from side to side. Then glue a large button onto the front door to serve as kind of a handle. Now you can keep all your electronics and cords and junk hidden but still access them easily.

I think my Star Wars potatoes like it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

DIY Polka Dot Wall

This DIY is more of an idea than an actual tutorial, just because it's that simple. All you need is some scrapbook paper, tape, an embroidery hoop or other round item for tracing, pen, and ruler.

Start off by measuring your wall or surface and figuring out how many polka dots you want to include. You can either do a whole wall of dots or just use them to frame a photo or something. Trace the same size circles on your scrapbook paper and cut them out. Then space the dots evenly along the wall and tape them in place. You can include just one color or rotate a couple of different ones. I'm thinking about adding more to this wall. What do you think?

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