Aug 27, 2011

8 things I love: Saturday

it's Saturday, woo-hoo!! Here's what I've lovingly deemed the weekend-mommy-uniform. :) It's just the kids and I here this weekend, Peter has ditched us for a convention in town, which is completely ok with me! It's actually much too hot to be out and about this weekend and Alaina really wanted to have a craft date today. I'm also pretty positive we'll be making a date with our pool later on. :) Here's to lazy weekends!

weekend shopping

1. White t-shirts
2. Worn blue Jeans!!!
3. cute scarfs
4. floral cocktail rings
5. gold cuff bracelets
6. casual tote bags
7. flat Skechers
8. tinted lip gloss

Aug 26, 2011

Summer Tea

Back in the mid 80's my family moved us across country from soggy Washington to beautiful Selma, Alabama and so started my obsession with iced sweet tea. I don't remember much of Selma, just a couple of random things, one being a local restaurant that served iced tea in these massive (to a 4 yr. old mind you) mason jars. Seriously though, how could anything served in a mason jar not be good?

Now decades later I have my own collection of mason jars and have made, what I think to be, the perfect tea concoction! During the summer months, when fruit is at it's best, I'll play around with different combinations of fruity teas. There's white tea & honeydew, jasmine tea & blueberries and my personal favorite: nectarine & mint tea.
Here's my take on an ode to the south sweet tea!

Nectarine Mint Sweet Tea

you'll need:
6 cups water
2 tea bags
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1 bunch mint leaves
3 nectarines
4 cups ice

1. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar with 1.3 cup of water. Bring to a slow boil and stir often until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Let the syrup cool to room temperature.

2. In a large kettle, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Remove heat and steep 2 tea bags. Let the tea cool to room temperature.

3. While syrup and tea are cooling, rinse and cut nectarines.

4. Once the tea has cooled, add tea, syrup, nectarines and mint to a large pitcher. Store in the refrigerator. I tend to think the tea is better after 'resting' for a day in the fridge.

Hope you are having a lovely Friday!!

Aug 23, 2011

New Crate Challenge

Did you happen to catch my latest post on the Crate Paper blog? I'll be hosting a 2nd monthly challenge for Crate Paper. The concept for this monthly challenge is really simple, in fact the name of the challenge basically gives it away: Crate Everyday!! You can read more about the challenge, rules and the amazing prize (2 Crate collections of your choice!!) on the Crate Blog.

Essentially this challenge will be centered around an everyday idea in the form of a prompt and it's up to you on how you'd like to interpret each prompt. Easy enough right? Since this was the debut challenge, I thought I'd kick off this month's prompt with the word Routine.

I created this mini album, using Crate's Accent cuts, about 10 simple things i do everyday. (I love projects that read like a list!)

I also created a layout for the challenge. I hate to admit this but I am the worst grumpy person ever in the mornings. I try to attribute my CMG (chronic morning grumpiness) on a number of things, however, I'm starting to believe that I am just not meant to be a morning person. This page is my "morning confession from a night owl" layout. :)

If you enjoy challenges where you are more "creatively free" this challenge will hopefully be to your liking. If your like me and like some sort of definitive restraints to the challenges you contribute to, hopefully you'll join me for my monthly color challenge! Thanks for stopping bu today! xo~ T

Aug 20, 2011

8 things I love - Saturday

wishful Fall thinking here this morning!! I personally cannot wait for cooler weather just so that I can wear comfy sweater dresses again.


1. sweater dress
2. boyfriend jacket
3. retro watch
4. rock or stone rings
5. skinny belts
6. any Betsey Johnson tights!
7. black riding boots
8. large stripe tote bags

Aug 19, 2011

Canvas winner!

finally!! the night is all mine and I have time to visit my computer again! The winner for the photo canvas has been chosen ~ Congrats to: Hilary!!

Hilary said...
Oh, I'd love to win this for my new apartment!
I "liked" them on FB.

x Hilary


and because I can't do a post without a photo, here's a little peek at Monday's post! I've been working on a new project and it's almost ready to come to life. :)
thankyou to everyone who left a comment about your favorite challenges!

happy weekend!

Aug 18, 2011

mom, I want to be rain.

Tomorrow will mark the end of our first full week of 2nd grade! Like most mommies, this week has been all about getting back into the swing of things. Homework, packing lunches, new bus stop times, 08972359862395 forms to fill out.... yep, school is back in session! and every day after school Alaina sits down with her snack and tells me about the daily happenings from a 6yr. olds perspective.

Today's conversation went something like this:

Alaina: Mom, Katie wants to be corn.

me: Really? Like for a Halloween costume?

Alaina: No, she just wants to be corn.

me: Well, that's unique.

Alaina: and I want to be rain, in a storm, because lightning and thunder are cool.

me: Rain would be a good choice.

Alaina: and it smells nice too. Oh, and Chase wants to be a panda. - -

Someday, I'm going to crate a little book of all our random conversations. The chronicles of Alaina. I think it would be a fun idea to record everything and be able to look back on our daily ramblings. Do you ever save or scrapbook some of the stories your children tell?

I'll be back tomorrow to choose a winner for the photo canvas!

Aug 16, 2011

Tuesday Giveaway from:

Canvas Prints

Every now and then I receive an email of an opportunity for a product giveaway and when Megan from Easy Canvas Prints wrote to me about the beautiful gallery wrapped canvases they create, I knew it would be a spectacular product worthy of sharing with everyone! The canvases are stunning and when paired with perfectly styled rooms, a custom photo canvas could be the ultimate center piece for the favorite room in your own home!

Easy Canvas Prints is giving away an 8x10" custom photo/print canvas to one lucky winner!

How do you enter this giveaway?

1. Click here to "Like" Easy Canvas Prints on Facebook

2. Leave a comment, with your name & email address, at the end of this post.

Easy-peasy right? This contest will end on Friday the 19th, and I'll post a winner that same evening.

Good luck! xo~ Tara

Aug 13, 2011

8 things I love- Saturday

Birthday Bash

1. Aviator sun glasses
2. large printed tote bags (big enough for extra kid toys & snacks but still cute for mom!)
3. Sequined top in an earth-tone
4. drape-y cropped cardigan
5. cuffed denim
6. wood grain platform wedges
7. vintage inspired jewel rings
8. barely there nail polish

Aug 12, 2011

they say it's your birthday,

So, I was thinking about this a couple of weeks ago. It's a birthday coincidence. Every one of my birthday's that have ended with a zero, I've lived in a different state. Here's the list so far!

1st birthday - born in Washington
10th birthday - lived in California
20th birthday - lived in Hawaii
30th - in Arizona

at this rate, I'm going to need to decide on the next state to live in for the next big birthday! haha. No really, after this summer (which we still have about another 2 more months of) Peter and I are really questioning how long we can continue living in the desert. I'm thinking maybe New Mexico or Oregon. We'll see in 10 years from now where life takes us!

What could possibly be a more perfect birthday present than flowers and a tea tray? Alaina gave me this elephant tea pot as a b-day gift! She wanted to have a mommy/daughter tea party this weekend and we do love tea and cookies in this home. :)

Peter and I have a sushi date planned for tonight ~ yay for date nights and a great babysitter! Happy Friday everyone!

Aug 10, 2011

fabric friendship bracelets *tutorial*

While I was in Oregon I found this really colorful woven fabric rug (kind of hippy-ish but so cool!) and decided I'd have to find somewhere in the house where it would be useful. Well it lasted for 4 whole days in front of the patio door before our 3 yr. old Lab chewed the corner of it. Oh well - it was a cute rug.... for 4 days. Rather than toss it in the trash, I started to think of projects where I could repurpose the fabric. After dismantling, cleaning and drying all of the fabric strips I remembered an old summer favorite - braided friendship bracelets!

To get started you'll want to use long strips of fabric (about 2ft.+ long), preferably cotton as it's easy to work with and I like that it frays on the edges a little.

Choose 3 fabric strips and use a clip to hold the fabric in place. Of course, if you have an extra set of hands available, ask for help in holding the fabric. To keep tension on my fabric I put a heavy book on top of the clip.

Loosely braid the fabric. When you get close to the end of your fabric, take a moment to measure the bracelet to your wrist. Since this is a slip on bracelet, you'll want to make sure you have enough room to wiggle the bracelet over your hand.

(I bribed Alaina to be my little hand model :))

Once you have made the bracelet to fit your hand (and because we're using cotton you can stretch the fabric a little too) remove the clip and hold both ends together. I would measure one last time before we sew the ends together! Measure twice and sew once!

Lay your bracelet flat, with both ends pushed together. Then using a straight stitch, sew the ends together, going forward and backward to ensure that all of the fabric has been sewn together and is secure.

Remove the bracelet from the sewing machine, trim off strings and cut fabric to just above where you sewed.

To cover up the sewed edges, cut or tear a piece of fabric about 2 inches wide and about 8 inches long. Slip the fabric into the bracelet where you sewed the ends and tie a single knot. Trim off the extra fabric from your knot.

We played with fabric combinations all afternoon, mixing and matching contrasting colors with patterns. I forgot how fun making simple bracelets could be and I'll bet if you try this tutorial, you'll end up making more than one! I think Alaina and I made 6 bracelets on Sunday. (4 for us and 2 for her friends.) :)

Happy crafting! xo~ Tara

Aug 9, 2011

Coffee Frosting recipe

Instead of posting a weekly menu, which wasn't terribly exciting this week - lots of salads, I thought I would share a recipe I made over the weekend. Sunday was the husbands birthday and as a tradition he got to choose a cake. This birthday a Coffee Cake with Coffee Frosting was requested. Peter told me that they use to have a similar cake when he was young, so I was a little extra determined to create a really good cake for the b-day boy!

For the cake part, just the basics were used; flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, salt, milk, vanilla and butter. Now for the frosting it took 2 tries in order to get it right. My mistake on the first run? Butter. I don't use it so I tried, unsuccessfully, using a spread which was a total waste of time. After a quick trip to the grocery store I was ready for a round 2. Here's the recipe!

Coffee Frosting

1/2 tsp. of instant coffee grounds, crushed to a powder
pinch of salt
1/8 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar/ confectioners sugar * you can add a little more or less depending on how sweet you like your frosting to be*
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix coffee powder, salt, and butter in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer, and beat until butter is smooth. Add half of the powdered sugar and milk into the butter mixture, and mix to incorporate. Add the remaining sugar and milk and mix at low speed to incorporate. Beat frosting at a med-high speed until desired consistency is reached. *I mixed my frosting on a high speed for about 6-8 minutes.*

This frosting was a whipped, buttery, sweet topping that was a perfect match to the dense coffee cake and Peter agreed! Success!

Aug 6, 2011

a question for you

As I sit here on the couch tonight, not scrapbooking, a thought popped into my head. If you had to choose a scrapbook challenge to contribute to, what type of challenge would you be more apt to play along with? Of course I know your first choice would be my Color Challenge with Crate paper, ;) so what would be your 2nd choice?

{ I did however make 2 more garlands today.... at least something creative was accomplished!!}

LakeBay ~ Crate

**eta** I know that the new product collections for Crate haven't shipped yet, so if you're asking yourself about that Denim color I chose for this color combo, here's my idea to remedy this conundrum. The Denim, is only a shade, don't worry about the teture! For this challenge I'll allow any shade of Denim that you'd like to use. Check out this color chart for lot's of denimy (is that even a word?) blue shades!

If you have time to scrapbook this next week, I posted my Color Challenge on the Crate Paper blog yesterday. Have I mentioned that the winner from this challenge gets to choose a any Crate collection as a prize? Not too shabby right? If I were to win, at my own challenge, it would be a toss up between the new Random Collection (which is so totally me!) or the Portrait
Collection. :)

This month's color combo is called "The Lakebay House." This actually wasn't my first choice for a color combo for the month, I had a different combo picked out and my finicky taste changed at the last moment and I went with Lakebay instead. Turns out though, this was the much better choice! I hope everyone likes it as much as I did!!!

I also had time to make a mini of little Chase! Just like this mini I chose a subject and took a series of photos to use. It's a simple idea for an album! The fabric pages are fabric swatches, (I scored an entire book of swatches from a local upholstery fabric store!) and the fabric tabs at the top of each page are from Home Depot.

Do you any crafty plans for the weekend? I'm going to try and spend a little time scrapbooking this afternoon and I'll be trying out a new coffee cake recipe sometime today. I don't think there could be a better way to spend a Saturday!! Happy creating!