Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Diet Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

When I heard people talking about using soda (or pop as we call it :) in a cake I must admit I was more than skeptical.  But since I had a chocolate cake mix and some soda I thought I would give it a whirl.
 You can use really any combination of soda and cake that sounds good to you.  I had a chocolate cake mix on hand and since my best friend is a Diet Dr. Pepper fanatic I figured if it turned out well she would love it... and guess what these are AMAZING! Plus with only two ingredients.... this couldn't be easier!
Just mix the dry cake mix and 12 oz. of soda.. that's one full can or 1 1/2 cups.
 Once combined spoon into a muffin tin, the consistency will be thicker than normal cake batter but don't worry they magically turn out really moist and delicious.
Next, in a 350 degree oven bake for 18-22 minutes.
 This is the finished product.
No oil or eggs, but you would never know it!
 If you are really looking to cut calories these little gems taste amazing as is with no frosting.
 But we decided instead of frosting to use a little dab of fat free/sugar free cool whip and the combo was a huge hit!  It's the perfect way to satisfy a sweet craving without feeling too guilty!
 Or if you are really daring... our version of a skinny ho-ho.... cool-whip on top and in between!  This is my personal favorite :)  Hey with all that fat and calories I saved using the soda... I think I deserve the extra whip... don't you???  Yes.. that really is how my brain works :)
I can't wait to try other combinations of cake and soda.  Grab a soda and try one tonight!  Let me know how they turn out.

Enjoy, Lindsey :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jute Webbing Wedding Banner

A family friend is getting married and I wanted to do something for her shower so I decided to finally put my "jute love" to good use.  If you haven't used it, jute webbing is usually used inside upholstered chairs, but this fun rustic material is too fabulous to be hidden by stuffing and fabric.  At a whopping .67 cents a yard.. the price is right too!  I did this project during a nap time and I think it turned out cute.  I also added their soon to be new last name... but my lens isn't wide enough to get it all in, hopefully you get the idea!
I started with 3 yards of jute, you can find it at most fabric stores often near the upholstery tools (I actually bought this at Walmart in the fabric section).  You can just cut squares or get as creative as you like.  I used the cardboard from the inside of a fat quarter, cut it to match the width of the webbing to limit the number of cuts then I just cut one side to form a point.
I cut all 3 yards and got 15 of these pieces.
To personalize the banner I used some inexpensive stencils centered on the shapes...
and with a little black acrylic paint and a foam brush...
dabbed on the paint until the open spaces of the stencil were completely filled in.
Quick and cute!
Now just finish the letters for whatever you want to spell out.
Let the letters dry.  Don't worry, this happens quickly.
To string the letters together I used a piece of red cording (.50 cents a yard) and with the sharp end of one side of a pair of scissors made two small holes in each piece to weave the cord through.
 Finally just hang and enjoy!  I think it is cute for a shower or birthday party, even a summer BBQ. It was well worth the few dollars and small amount of time it took to make.

Hope you like it :)

Enjoy, Lindsey

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vanilla Cranberry Fro-Yo Bites

Spring is here... allegedly!!!  We woke up to snow this morning believe it or not, but regardless of the outside temperatures the calendar says it's spring so I'm clinging to that claim with the hope that it will be here soon.  So in honor of the changing season I decided to try a great idea that has been floating around pinterest lately... frozen yogurt dots!!!  But of course I wanted to try and put my own twist on it so instead of just using flavored yogurt I tried vanilla yogurt and added chewy dried cranberries for a different flavor and texture and WOW are they good.  I think you could go crazy with this basic idea and add raisin, chopped nuts, granola... really any fun little nugget to add taste and texture. Oh the possibilities... but first things first here's the basic method to the madness.
You need some yogurt, a plastic storage bag, a cookie sheet and your choice of topping.
To get the yogurt into the bag without making a horrible mess I put the bag into a bowl and folded the sides over the edge then added the yogurt.  This gets the yogurt all the way to the bottom without making a mess or wasting a bunch of your yogurt.
Now just twist the open end of the bag, squeezing the yogurt down to one corner.  It should now look like a pastry or icing bag.
Next just snip that tiny end of the bag off and squeeze away.
The size of the dots really is up to you, mine varied between the size of a nickle and a quarter.  One half of my tub of yogurt filled this entire cookie sheet.
Now I just added one dried canberry to the top of each mound of yogurt.
Finally place this glorious tray into your freezer for about and hour... I know the suspense is killing me too :)
And ta-da.. that's it!  These yummy, healthy treats are ready to eat and oh so delicious.  
The few that you don't eat right away just pop into a freezer bag or plastc container and hide deep in the depths of your freezer so you can sneak them out later and assure there will still be some left.
Or if you are far more selfless than I am.. put them in a visable spot, they will definitely be devoured by days end but the great thing about these little snacks is they are soooooo easy to make so you can just wip up another batch :)
Little kids and big kids give these two thumbs way up!

Enjoy, Lindsey :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

DIY Scalloped Headband

I'm absolutely, positively nutty about headbands.  I started searching the web for ways to make these fabulous accessories just moments after finding out that we were having a little girl.  I have since made them out of just about anything and everything I can get my hands on and I have a little accessory diva to prove it.  At not even 1 1/2 if she doesn't have a hair bow on she goes to her room and points up at the basket until you get her one :) I am no better, I love them too!  And believe it or not I'm showing no signs of a headband halt anytime soon.... so no item in my house is safe from a future amid the follicles of someones head.
This treasure ripped after much abuse as a purse then it went into my "maybe I could use that pile" which is getting a little ridiculous.  I used the straps for the bridle on the kids' DIY Stick Horses that I made before Christmas, but most of the body of the purse was still perfectly usable.  I thought the texture and shine could be fun so I got out the scissors and glue and got to work.
I don't have a fancy die cut machine.. if you do by all means use it!  But I just cut the purse into strips, then into a bunch of different sized squares. For me cutting a rough circle from the squares made the job a little easier and I think this way you waste less of your material.  But don't worry about being perfect just cut a bunch of rough circles, I think the imperfections make them even more adorable.  You will also need 2 pieces of felt to finish off your creation and of course a headband.
For this one I used two rectangle felt pieces... one glued on the underside of the headband off center.
Then glue the other matching piece on top.  This gives you a wider area to glue to and helps keep the glue hidden so the entire finished product looks a little more polished.
Now grab a hot glue gun and go crazy.  There is no science to this, just start gluing them down, overlapping or staggering the pieces to create a fun finished product.
For this one instead of rectangle pieces of felt I used a large teardrop shape and then just followed that outline to make a completely different look... on a leopard headband ta-boot :)  Fun huh? I wore this yesterday and got tons of complements!  Who says only little girls can wear headbands??? Big girls love them too :)
Once all the circles were cut I made 5 headbands in just minutes!  These are super cute and so easy!
So look around your closet or search your local thrift store for a purse and get to gluing!!!

Enjoy, Lindsey :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

DIY Glitter Flats with a TWIST!

Oh Glitter how I LOVE YOU!  After re-vamping a thrift store clutch recently with some glitter and glue I am officially addicted.  Ever since I have been wanting to try the technique on some shoes, but thought they looked a little too Wizard of Oz for me without adding a funky twist.  So I grabbed some fabric and this is what I came up with.  The fabric can be tied into a sweet bow or twisted and knotted for another look.
Not too shabby for a couple bucks... HUH?
As you can see I am once again a BIG SPENDER :)  These were on sale for $3.00!
To change the drab tan flats to fabulous I mixed a little Mod Podge and gold glitter.  This was one tube of glitter and a little less than half a cup of glue.  
This step is easy but takes a little patience.  Brush on the glue, covering all parts of the shoe.  If you are a perfectionist you could tape off the sole to make sure the glitter doesn't bleed... I am not :) Try to keep the layers thin, this helps dry faster but it doesn't have to be perfect.  By the time you do a couple coats any area that you missed initially will be plenty sparkly. Just make sure to cover the glue along the way so it doesn't dry out.
For the ties I just grabbed some scrap fabric I had on hand. You could also use ribbon or a scarf, whatever you have laying around.  To make the ties I cut four strips a little more than 12 inches long and about 3 inches wide... sewed each piece right sides together along the two long and one short sides.  Be sure to leave the one short side open so you can turn the tubes right side out.
A pencil or skewer work great to make sure all the corner are turned out, once you do that give them a quick press and they are ready to attach.
You can absolutely sew these ties on, but I am lazy and thought sewing through all that glue might be  a little tough.. so why not use MORE GLUE??? :) This time a little Gorilla Super Glue does the trick.
I pinched in the sides of that open end to help hide where I was gluing it.
Now just line the edge with glue...
Press that edge to the side of the shoe.  You want the fabric to fall down instead of over the shoe right now because you are going to bring it over the shoe later and completely cover any evidence of glue.
Let the glue dry completely and that's it!  Flip the ties over the shoe towards the center and finish them off.
Either with a sweet bow.
Or twist the ties and then add a few knots for another look.
Either way these are fun and cost less than $5.. including the shoes!!!
Quite a difference huh?  So go find some shoes in your closet that you no longer wear or that need an update and glitter away.

I can't wait to wear these.  Let me know if you give this a try!

Good Luck, Lindsey :)