"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have" -M. Angelou

I’ve got a pocket full of SUNSHINE…

Hello again dears! I know that I am forever going on & on about the amazing awesomeness of Pinterest… but, too bad, I am about to do it again!

I saw the most adorable gift idea for someone who is sick, having a hard time, or just because you want to make them smile. One day, my lovely friend *coughJESScough* needed a bit of sunshine in her life, & being the fabulous friend that I am (who is currently shamelessly tooting my own horn) I decided it was time to put this idea into action!

Name of project: Box of Sunshine
Rules for what goes into the “Box of Sunshine”: ANYTHING.. as long as it’s yellow 🙂

The Dollar Store really is a magical place. Especially the one located just 7 minutes from our house. I swear, they have everything, even name brand items, for just $1! I won’t lie, I actually embarrass my husband a little bit with my enthusiasm for the $1 store… I just can’t help it! Case in point: the goodies I found for my Box of Sunshine!

Yellow & white basket
Vanilla incense
A bunch of (fake) yellow flowers
Raisinets
Mini Butterfinger candy bars
Chicken Soup for the Soul Word-Finds
Smiley face mints
Cotton candy
Framed quote
Pedometer (this held special meaning)

So that is a whopping grand total of $10!

 

I also printed off a “box of sunshine” free printable from the fabulous Happy Money Saver blog, which is where I first saw the box of sunshine concept.

Throw everything into your box/basket/whatever you decide to make…. & here are the results:


I LOVED making this for my friend, & I think I may need to make sure I have plenty of yellow goodies on hand for any other future days that need some sunshine (Dollar Store, here I come!!).

Until next time,

❤ Laura

So, you think your carpet is clean?

The other day, I was browsing Pinterest for a few minutes (okay, maybe a tad longer than that), & I came across a picture of a window squeegee. What’s so interesting about that? Well, right next to the squeegee, on the carpeted floor, was a pile of fur/fuzz  & a caption that promised you could “Use a squeegee to remove pet hair from carpet!”. Since we have a dog (AKA puppyson), I thought this might be worth a look!
Of course, when I clicked the link, it went no where. No directions, no more details.. nothing. Sad day. Did I give up? No siree Bob! Instead, I high tailed it over to our friendly neighborhood Dollar Store, picked up a squeegee, & decided to “test” it on the carpet, & see if there really was something to this claim.

First, I made sure to thoroughly vacuum the carpet. I didn’t want to give this whole squeegee thing undo credit for removing a bunch of dog hair, if I hadn’t even vacuumed yet!
Second, I tried out a few different ways of pushing/pulling the squeegee… for some reason, I apparently thought pushing it was the brilliant thing to do… & then I luckily remembered how to use one of these things on a window, & came to the conclusion it was obviously easier (& you know, more NORMAL) to pull it towards me instead.

After finishing the living room/hallway I vacuumed again, in case there was any loose hair or dust, & also to fluff up the carpet a bit.

Here are a couple pics of what came out of my carpet:

DSC_0623

It is a little hard to tell from these images, but there definitely was A LOT of hair in that ball of fuzz…. We have a short hair dog (white & brindle), so he doesn’t shed too badly. Even so, I didn’t realize just how much hair was in the carpet until I tried this neat little trick! However, be careful how hard you scrape with the squeegee, because it did pull up quite a bit of carpet fiber. Our carpets are only a couple of years old, so that could be the reason there was an excess of carpet fibers though.
I wouldn’t do this too often, but every few months I will repeat this process. It took some time to do, but when I was done our carpets looked BRAND NEW.

Lesson #1: Your floors are never as clean as you think they are.
Lesson #2: Just because there is no link to follow on that awesome looking Pinterest picture, doesn’t mean you can’t figure it out yourself!!

If you try this, I would love to know your results!

– Laura

Oreo Madness

So, my husband loves Oreos. No really, if he could marry an Oreo, I think I might be out of a job. I decided to see if there were any desserts I could make using Oreos as a main ingredient, so I hopped on Pinterest to find something awesome. I had pinned a few different desserts involving Oreos, so the only thing I had to do was narrow down what I wanted to try making first. And, since I couldn’t pick just one, you get two recipes to choose from. Both of these recipes are ridiculously easy, & taste like they take hours to make!

First up, No Bake Oreo Truffles:

  • 1 package Double Stuffed Oreos
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese (you can add up to 8oz, I added about 5.5, because I liked that consistency)
  • Dipping Chocolate (I used vanilla melting blocks from Michael’s)

Instructions:

  1. Finely chop Oreos in a food processor. Save some of the crushed Oreos to garnish your truffles (You won’t need that much)
  2. With your hands or a spoon, mash softened cream cheese & crushed Oreos until well combined. *
  3. Roll into 1″ balls & place on a wax covered cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. While in the freezer, melt chocolate according to the directions.
  5. Pull the Oreo Truffles out of the freezer, & dip into chocolate. At this time you can garnish with the set aside Oreo crumbs before the chocolate sets.
  6. Let chocolate set, refrigerate, & then wow everyone with your amazing truffle-making skills!

*I also set aside some of the Oreo crumb/cream cheese mixture in another bowl, & added a bit of Nutella (I am obsessed with Nutella, it is magical). I loved how the truffles with Nutella had an even creamier taste… but beware, they are obviously richer since you are adding even more chocolate to the mix!

Next up, Oreo Pudding Poke Cake:

 
  • 1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix (I used the dark chocolate fudge cake by Duncan Hines, but any choco cake mix will work)
  • Ingredients needed to make cake  (eggs, oil, and water)
  • 2 (4 oz.) packages of Instant Oreo pudding
  • 4 cups milk (2% or higher was recommended, however I only had 1% on hand, & it worked fine for me)
  • Crushed Oreo Cookies (optional.. I saved a little but extra from my Oreo Truffles)

Instructions:

  1. Make cake mix according to directions and bake in a well-greased 9×13 pan.
  2. Just before cake is done, start making pudding.
  3. In a medium bowl, add milk to pudding mixture and continue to whisk until most of the lumps are removed., & let sit for about 2 minutes (You want it to thicken slightly so it isn’t runny, but NOT fully thicken into pudding)
  4. When cake is finished, while still warm, poke holes all over cake (about 1-inch) intervals using a wooden spoon handle
  5. Pour pudding mixture over the cake.. try to aim for the holes.
  6. GENTLY spread mixture with a spoon evenly over cake.. taking special care to get pudding into the holes.
  7. Place in the refrigerator so that in can cool completely.. for about an hour.
  8. Once pudding mixture is set, sprinkle Oreo crumbs on top of cake (if desired)

Serve cake & refrigerate leftovers (HA, leftovers.. good one)

When I made these desserts, I didn’t actually plan on blogging them, so sorry there are only a couple of pictures! You can check out where I got the original recipes from (I changed some of the ingredients/steps slightly) by checking out my Pinterest board “Pins for the Win” .

Happy Baking!!

-Laura

Cupcake Liner Wreath

So, One thing to know about me, is that I love trying new things… & I am not afraid to fail. Sure, it can be completely frustrating to spend hours on a project, only to realize it was a total fail… but you never know until you try, right? Right.
Which is why I decided to be adventurous with my Valentine wreath, & instead of making something predictable (you will learn that my love of all things vintage makes me lean towards burlap, lace, old keys, etc far too often), I decided to try a cupcake liner wreath.
Oh, but not just any cupcake liner wreath. A pink & zebra cupcake liner Valentine wreath, to be exact. Go big or go home, I decided.

I first saw cupcake liners used on wreaths via Pinterest, & I really liked the concept. Since I was in Hobby Lobby shopping with my lovely friend (and fellow blogger) Jess, I decided to go with something less traditional. You know those friends who always encourage you to try new things, be more creative, & step out of the box once in awhile? Yep, that’s Jess.  Below are the steps on how to make your own cupcake wreath, & a list of items you will need:

Hot glue gun
Styrofoam wreath
2 packs of Cupcake liners (Hobby Lobby has a huge variety!)
Ribbon of your choice (As you see later in this post, I misjudged the exact amount of ribbon, & to be perfectly honest, have NO recollection of how much I even purchased.. blogger fail, I know.)

I chose to add a little more decoration to my wreath, however I love the way they look with just the liners, so just be creative & see what works!

First, I was checking out my cupcake liners, & trying to decide the best way to attach them onto my wreath. The problem I was running into, was that the inside of the liner was white, & I really couldn’t stand that much white showing when I scrunched it up to hot glue onto the wreath… so I turned the cupcake liner on the right inside out, like the picture below:

And then I stick it inside of the cupcake liner on the left. Simple enough, & it actually made the wreath look fuller faster as well. The only problem I ran into, was that I had to put a dot of hot glue in between the liners to make sure they stayed together when I attached them to the wreath. Why was this a problem? Because the liners are so thin that I ended up burning my fingertips quite a few times, just so that I could have the look I wanted…

I used the pink ribbon to wrap around the wreath, that way if there were gaps in the liners, you wouldn’t see the white of the wreath, & also because I assumed the glue would attach better to the ribbon (which, so far, seems to be the case!)

I ran out of ribbon when I had about a 4 in gap left.. but I didn’t let that worry me, I ended up wrapping the rest with the zebra print ribbon, as you will see further in the post. Once I had secured the ends of the pink ribbon with hot glue, I started to add the cupcake liners!! I spaced them just far enough a part so there were no visible gaps, & just kind of “went with it” until I achieved the look I wanted. When attaching the liners with hot glue, you need to hold the liner in place for a few seconds, before releasing, to ensure the glue has cooled & the liners won’t fall off/reposition.

I found these zebra striped flowers at Michael’s for $1, & knew I had to use them somehow.. so I cut of the head of the flower & hot glued it off to the side on the bottom of the wreath, & added a felt heart sticker (also from Michael’s in a pack of 4 for $1). I then made a loop from the zebra print ribbon & attached it to the top of the wreath. Even though I started this project with the intention of using this as a Valentine wreath, in the end I gifted this to a friend for her baby shower. Her nursery theme? Hot pink & zebra print. I know, kind of perfect! I was flattered to visit her after baby was born, & see this on the nursery door 🙂 Definitely worth the time (& burned fingertips).

 

Thanks for reading,

L.