Sunday, March 30, 2014

Tea Party

When I was a little girl, my grandma and I would have tea parties all the time. The "tea" was grape juice, but eventually I developed a taste for actual tea. Yesterday, I hosted a little tea party with a a few friends, food, treats and of course, tea!

I've practically replaced tea for coffee lately and have just recently started branching out of my usual flavors. Our friends brought over a variety of teas and I had a few of my own, but all together we had five different teas from Adagio, Teavana and Stash ranging from fruity to spicy.

I busted out my adorable Inside Out Hearts tea set and new tea spoons for the occasion. The table cloth, napkins (with some lace detail you can't see) and floral placemats were given to me by my favorite aunt.



I did the baking the night before (accompanied by an earthquake). We had teapot and bunny shaped sugar cookies with lemon icing and macarons that didn't come out quite right, but were tasty nonetheless. 







We ate cucumber sandwiches (with cream cheese and green onions) and chicken salad sandwiches on white and wheat bread, fruits, veggies and caprese bites with balsamic vinaigrette. 


Here are the ladies of the tea party just before digging in!



Even as an adult, I still love a good old fashion girly tea party, but now I actually drink tea. I still love grape juice, but there's so such thing as a grape juice party. I'll just note that the men of the tea party (not pictured) talked about shooting and guns and other manly things as they ate their finger sandwiches and bunny cookies.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

DIY: Framed Glitter Stag

I got some dollar store frames a while back and finally put one to good use. I took the backing out or an 8x10 frame and painted it with a sponge brush and gold paint. The wood is a little rough and lumpy, but it was a dollar, so I can't complain.  

   Before:                                     After:



While letting the painted frame dry, I found a silhouette of a deer head on Google image search. I stretched it out to the size I wanted, paying no mind to the quality of the photo since I only need the outline. I printed it and then carefully cut out the silhouette, which is now my pattern. 

You can use any combination of nice paper, wrapping paper, tissue paper, newspaper, whatever. But I got some glitter wrapping paper from Michael's around the holidays and quickly found out why it was on clearance: the glitter gets everywhere. Literally everywhere. I couldn't put my loved ones through a glitter explosion as they unwrapped their now glitter adorned Christmas presents, so I set it aside for an occasion like this.

I cut out a rectangle of glitter wrapping paper over newspaper and quickly put the rest of it back in a bag and in the closet so I don't have glitter flying everywhere. I put the wrapping paper glitter-side down so I could trace the stag on the back of it. Then I carefully cut out the glitter paper.

I glued the stag silhouette onto some lavender card stock that I cut to match the size of the frame's backing and put everything together once the newly painted frame had dried. 

And then hung it up!

This was super easy and I plan on doing more with other silhouettes in the kitchen.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

DIY: Friendship Bracelets

Like most girls in elementary school, I used to make friendship bracelets for me and my friends. I had embroidery floss in all my favorite colors. I had the sectioned container to organize all the string and spent the time to wind it all on those floss bobbins. Well I eventually outgrew the friendship bracelets and donated all my string.

But nowwwww, I’m at it again. Luckily, I remember how to make the only two patterns I ever did which are both just a series of knots, and it doesn’t get any easier than that! But I wanted them to look mature now that I’m a “grown up”. I can’t just go around making and wearing any ‘ol friendship bracelets, now can I? (I can). But I was inspired but this adorable tassel bracelet I found on Pinterest.

I bought a beaded bracelet on clearance at H&M so I could yoink the gold beads, in lieu of going to an actual craft store. Plus, I got a shirt while I was there.

I made the tassels by just looping the string around two fingers and cutting off the bottom and then sewed it pretty tightly. After making a couple, I am now tying the bracelets on with a double knot, sewing the knot for extra support and then adding the tassel right on top of the knot so it’s a seamless no knot bracelet.

Here is my updated and mature take on the bracelets of my youth:



My bf, friends and mom all love their bracelets too. Or they’re all liars.


Top left: Boyfriend and bracelet driving his race car
Top right: Debbie enjoying her bracelet and coffee over brunch
Bottom left: Missy holding her precious bebe's hand while watching the sunset
Bottom right: Mom and her nail art playing 3DS (Animal Crossing)


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are not only adorable, they are fascinating to watch. Of course they’re a little hard to watch because they move so quickly. My mom has been attracting a lot of hummingbirds in her bird feeders, sometimes even up to 15 at a time! Her sugar water brings all the birds to the yard.

The world’s smallest bird can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, upside down or just hover in place. But they don’t really walk. They can perch and they can hop, but they don’t really use their dinky little feet for walking. 


It almost looks like a beta fish swimming.


Just perched with a little tongue sticking out.


Such pretty iridescent feathers.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmastime at Disneyland


My favorite time to go to Disneyland is most definitely Christmastime. All the decorations, the dressed up characters, holiday themed parades, and the snow after the fireworks show. I try to make it to Disneyland once or twice a year and this year, I went for my birthday and just before Christmas to enjoy all the magical d├ęcor.

There are more characters spotted around Disneyland and California Adventure this time of year. I will only get a picture if the line isn’t too long, but still nice to know they’re there!


Here’s a heavily decorated Christmas tree on the California Adventure side:


I rarely go to Innoventions in Tomorrowland, but we stopped by to check out the Iron Man exhibit which included all the different Iron Man suits used in the movie.


This is the one time a year I’ll actually watch the Disney parade, usually I avoid them and take advantage of the slightly shorter ride lines during the shows. But, the Christmas Fantasy Parade includes a ton of characters, dressed in their holiday best.


It’s also the only time I might actually watch the fireworks show. This year, we sat in front of the castle to wait for the show to start. We were probably waiting for about an hour when they announced over the intercom that the show was cancelled due to the weather. It was a pretty clear day, but the clouds were moving quickly if you looked up high enough. Disneyland has the best fireworks show I’ve ever seen, so that was disappointing, but they still released the fake snow.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Baking Update

I did a lot of baking around the holidays, so here's a little of what I've been up to...

The consistency of the chocolate mousse part was just heavenly. And I'm not a big fan of chocolate in the form of cakes (or ice cream, or in large quantities).

Assorted Christmas cookies
Chocolate chip cookies with pecans
White chocolate cookies with raspberries (my absolute favorite cookie)
Spritzgeb├Ąck cookies in the shape of trees
Cinnamon macarons

Macarons are a temperamental cookie, I'm surprised they came out the way they did. There were very few cracks and they all had nice "feet." I order a new icing bag tip to pipe these out and a better sifter, so the next batch should be even better!

Dutch Apple pie



                                 
It was fun to make the crust and braid the edges and add details. This was served with homemade whipped cream and was delicious. I'll have to seal up the edges better to prevent the oozing next time.

Raspberry and white chocolate scones

And then there were cupcakes...

Vanilla bean cupcakes with raspberries (the ones without raspberries on top have raspberries IN the cupcake) and gold sprinkles

Vanilla cupcakes with lemon frosting

Bailey's Irish cream cupcakes with a wee bit of bailey's also in the frosting

Broken glass spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and broken (sugar) glass

Monday, November 25, 2013

Brooklyn

We spent our fifth day in New York in Brooklyn with our friend. We took the subway to the Park Slope area and started at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch in the Grand Army Plaza. It reminded me of the Victory Arch in Madrid. This arch was dedicated to the Union Army of the American Civil War.





We walked around the adorable Park Slope neighborhood and the brownstone homes.



Then ate at a little ramen joint, which was perfect for this cold, wet day.


Last, we went to Coney Island, which of course is closed for the winter, but looked eerie and abandoned on this misty night. This made all that light drizzle worth it during the day.








And then we got some pizza from Grimaldi's!