June 30, 2011

Glitter

Glitter seems to be the trend for the summer. Glitter tanks, glitter shoes, glitter dresses for all the weddings in the summer, and glitter nails. The glitter nail polish trend can be done right, or way way wrong. This, to me, is an example of the glitter polish done right.




I'm considering "glittering" one of my freshly Axiumm manicured nails...but I cant decide on which finger! Either the pinky or my ring finger. Or I could do my middle finger...but that could be misleading when I'm trying to show people how it looks. Especially if I'm trying to show the people driving like lunatics on the road. They may think I'm trying to say something else. :)

June 28, 2011

It was a happy day

Has anyone ever asked you "What would be your perfect day?". Well I get asked that but I never think that will ever happen. Well, it did. And it happened to be on my birthday. Here's what happened.
1. Got Starbucks. My new fav--Americano.
2. Cooked breakfast with my sister, and ate it with my mom and husband. AND my sister. That could have been awkward.
3. Laid in our "personal" pool on our patio. Picture red-neck + ghetto and you'll get the image of what our patio looks like. Inflatable pool from walmart, dollar store lanterns, iPhone playing music, lemonade with umbrellas. It was great. AND really awkward when our neighbors came outside.
4. Get cleaned up and go out to dinner with family + friend. Just 1.
5. Make coasters. A project I've been meaning to do forever.
6. Head over to YoPop and get frozen yogurt. You get to create the masterpiece yourself. Couldn't be more appropriate for me.


These coasters are easy to make and wonderfully customizable. 



June 26, 2011

Birthday


Today is my birthday. I've officially entered into my "mid-twenties". I'm half-way to 50. I'm a quarter of the way done with my life (roughly). 

And I'm happy. Couldn't imagine being anywhere else, with anyone else. 

:)

June 25, 2011

Pretty Little iPhone

Well, it turns out I needed a cover for my iphone too. My iPad was looking pretty good with the cover, so I thought it was time to make a coordinating one for the phone. Also, the phone took a pretty scary fall a few days ago and it chipped a little of the sides. So it was time for protection!



:)

June 24, 2011

Make your own Streusel!


Ever seen that box of muffin mix at the grocery store that has Streusel in it for topping? Well, the muffins are pretty gross. But the streusel is great. I'm not the kind of person that would buy two muffin mixes just to get the streusel out of one, and use the mix from the other box. I'd rather make my own!
Plus, my mom has been telling my out to make it for months, but unless I write it down....it's a goner.

SO, I did a bit of googling and found that making streusel is easier than cracking an egg. There are several different versions too, so test out a few of them!

Here is what I did.
2 tablespoons flour + 1 tablespoon softened butter + 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Mix together until crumbly and sprinkle on top of muffins before baking.

Now, I'm well aware that everyone out there may already know this simple recipe. BUT-if you didn't know this, I'm glad you read this. Maybe leave me a comment or something so I don't feel alone in my ignorance! :)

June 22, 2011

Starbucks

I had a new experience yesterday and I thought I would share it with you. I love Starbucks. I like their coffee (read: latte's) and their fast service. I tried drinking Pike Place (the brewed coffee) for the past few months and it just never really made me go "mmmmm" after I took a sip.

Yesterday, however, I tried an Americano. It's different than Pike Place in that it is espresso, not brewed coffee, over water. It's smooth and tasty! 

So, in case you didn't know that, now you know. Oh and also:


"If everyone who says EXPRESSO instead of ESPRESSO is just punched in the face ONCE, they'd get it, and the world would be a better place."

June 21, 2011

Wall Art

After a weekend working at my sister-in-laws house, I've had my "dream house" on my mind! And I love wall decals.  (all of these decals are from Etsy! Click on the photo go to to the Etsy shop!)








June 19, 2011

Caramel Apple "Not A" Salad.

My mother, the queen of amazing food and recipes, passed on this little gem to me a few months ago. She's been making it for years, and I just recently decided to give it a shot. It's quite delicious.






I'm not really sure why it's called salad because there's nothing healthy about it. Maybe because it's all chopped up. But, if it makes you feel better, go ahead and call it a salad. I'm going to start calling it Caramel Apple Salade (pronounced: sal-aid). It just sounds more appropriate.


What cha need:
4 delicious apples (I took this to mean 4 tasty and delicious apples. I think she meant 4 Red Delicious apples. I used 4 'ol Granny Smiths.)
1/2 cup sugar
1 T flour
1 egg, beaten
2 T apple cider vinegar
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained, reserve juice
1 cup salted peanuts
8 oz. cool whip


To make it:

1. Mix flour & sugar. Add beaten egg, vinegar & pineapple juice in a sauce pan.
2. Cook over low heat, stirring until thickened.
3. Let cool for atleast 10 minutes.
4. Pour over diced apples, peanuts and crushed pineapple.
5. Fold in cool whip before serving.


This alone looks good.




and THIS is where it definitely stops looking like a salad.


Enjoy! Eat a larger portion than what is shown here.

June 18, 2011

Barefoot Contessa's Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The most beautiful parts of my job as a hairstylist is developing deep relationships with my clients. One of my dearest clients is named Pat. She called into the salon I was working at and I happened to be next on the list to take the "call in". She's been coming to see me every 4 weeks for 4 years. She and I have become great friends over the past years, bonding over recipes, books, stories about life and laughing about our pets. She helped me pick out some menu items that my husband and I served at our wedding reception. She and I shared the grief involved in loosing a loved pet. She's recommended books, movies, bed-and-breakfasts'. She brings in her latest QVC find, usually beauty related, and lets me try it. She bought me Ree Drummond's Cook Book. It changed my life. I could keep going with this, but I think you are catching my drift.

One time, under particular circumstances, I needed to go do Pat's hair at her house. Being the wonderful host that she is, she had cookies baking in the oven when I arrived. And those cookies were Ina Gartens Chocolate Chunk Cookies. And they were delicious. And then she confessed that they came from a box mix. And I knew I needed to get my hands on that mix.

So I did. Here it is.

MAKE these cookies!
They are the easiest thing ever. The box tells you this, but make sure you have an egg and 1 stick of unsalted butter.


June 17, 2011

Easy Rigatoni Casserole

There is something delightful about knowing you have a delicious casserole waiting for you when you get home from work. Yum. Inspired by a recipe from a friend of mine, I whipped together this dish a few days ago and it was a hit! Super simple and easy, it's a crowd pleaser and a quick dish to make.



Easy Rigatoni Casserole
1 lb. Italian Sausage (usually I use mild)
1 box Rigatoni pasta
1 24 oz. jar Marinara Sauce (I used Mario Batali!)
8-10 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
4 cloves or garlic, minced
3 Basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Kosher Salt to tast

1. Cook pasta until el dente. Strain then pour into a large bowl. Add cooked Italian Sausage, cheese, and as much marinara as you would like! Stir.
2. Add Basil leaves, Garlic, and a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Stir well.
3. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 glass dish, then top with more cheese or marinara if you would like!
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover with foil.




Enjoy!

June 13, 2011

Lemonade

Nothing says summer like lemonade. Especially in mason jars. 





It's hot here in NC so I've been guzzling lemonade like crazy. To keep your lemonade from getting watered down, make some of these citrus ice cubes! 


June 12, 2011

Veggie Love

I experienced my first "on purpose" vegetarian entree on Thursday. I was with  a group in Denver, Colorado serving through a  church and one girl was a vegetarian. Since Denver is full of health-nuts, there are a ton of unique restaurants with interesting cuisine. M found a vegetarian restaurant only a few blocks away from our hotel, so a few of us headed down there to give it a shot.

Up until the time we left I was thinking "what if I can't find anything on the menu....what if I don't know what is in the food..." until I realized that most restaurants have a little section on the bottom of the menu with about 3-4 special vegetarian choices. And now, M was going to a place where she has more choices than non-vegetarians. So basically, I needed to get over it.

Plus, it was the perfect opportunity for me to venture out.

We arrive at the restaurant and have about 20 minutes to wait. I look around at the scenery, noticing a theme immediately. "Pro-animal" is putting it loosely.  There were rabbits dressed as strong warriors, mice saving other mice from drowning in a river, a group of 60 prairie animals gathered together enjoying each others company, maybe one was even singing, and probably chatting about how great it is to have such a vast group of friends.


We get seated and I scan the menu. Oh man. Mushrooms everywhere. I do a quick once over and I find something that makes my hear skip a beat. 

Caesar Salad. 
Yay! Normal food! Whew!  

Wait a minute, what ever happened to venturing out? For some reason, I choose to ignore the Caesar salad and being searching for the farthest thing from comfortable for me to eat. That was the point after all. 

Caesar salad wrap with seared tofo was a little bit scary...but then I found my  match: 
Dona Lee Wrap with "seitan", avocado, lettuce, ranch dressing, tomato in a whole wheat wrap.

What the heck is "seitan"? All I can think of is "food of Satan". Turns out, I don't think there is any correlation. It's simply a meat substitute that has soy beans and is usually (or always) fried. 

I consult my vegetarian friend, the waiter, and my heart before deciding that the Dona Lee Wrap is the winner. It is, without a doubt, the LAST thing I would ever want to order. So I ordered it.


When it came to the table, I was nervous. I had to remind myself that I wasn't facing imminent death, that I was just trying new food.

I took a bite.  Chewed.  Swallowed. It went down. Phew.

And truthfully, it wasn't all that bad. After trying most everything else around the table, we all decided that my selection, while daring, was a bit bland, and that seitan could be much tastier when paired with more flavorful ingredients. It actually had a texture similar to heavily breaded fried chicken. It was crispy and crunchy.

And as glad as I was that I stepped up and tried something very very new, it was more meaningful to see M scour the menu trying to decide between her many many options.

The Small Things

The small things.

Sometimes, change is a good thing. I've been using Posterous as my blog host for some time now and lately I've been missing some things that blogger offers. For example,  separate pages and an easier to navigate archive. So, the time has finally come to switch over to blogger.

I also renamed the site. Lemon Sugar was not available on blogger. It represented two things that I love : the color yellow and, simply put, sugar! So, I've renamed this blog "it's the small things" because it will still be a place where I can write about the little things in life that I love.

So, what you'll find here is the "small things" that I enjoy. From recipes to crafts, funny videos to new products, tutorials to inspirational photos.

Now that I can organize among other pages, I am going to feature a Monthly Hair product that I love so maybe you can discover a new product for yourself!

Also, I just signed up for my monthly BirchBox. I am really excited about this one! It's a once monthly box of 4-5 sample size cosmetics delivered to your door. It's a great idea since it allows you to try out approx 30 products each year for a fraction of full price.  I'll have a page dedicated to BirchBox goodies so I can review them + keep track of the things I really like!

So I hope you follow me over here to blogger!

Etsy Shop Moment : whatnomints

These sweet little magnets caught my eye. Aren't they adorable?

Homemade Coasters

Update: 8.30.2011 I made them! 
I plan on making these someday soon.

Imagine the possibilities! House warming gift, wedding gift, birthday gift, Christmas gift, etc. Who doesn't love coasters anyway?

Cute Clutch

How cute is this clutch!?
This Etsy shop has a lot of really amazing items! Baby clothes, clutches, pillows. . . and most are in this neutral color that could match with anything!

Coffee Anyone?

Are you a coffee lover like me? The only thing I need now is a stylish mug to carry around with me all day!

OR just buy one of these adorable Coffee Cozy's from IMGirl on Etsy!

Anthro-Apology

Whenever I want to shop at Anthropologie, I feel like I need to apologize to my wallet. "Sorry wallet, I'm going to empty you out completely on a single shirt."
BUT now...! I've discovered Ruche(THANKS to my sister for that discovery!) It's an online store that looks a lot like Anthropologie, without the high price tag!
Go check it out! And have your credit card ready!

Get Busy

I just purchased this sassy little notebook from modernemotive on Etsy.  They have other really cute items too!

Hope you are getting things done today!

Furniture Makeover

 So my parents wanted to get rid of their old pine furniture. I told them I would take it off their hands, maybe throw a coat of paint on it. . .see what happens. Well-it turned out beautifully! We used "Toasted Marshmellow" as the color. It was the perfect mix between cream and white. 
Here is before: thanks to my muscular husband, I didn't even have to sand 1 inch.


Here is the furniture with the primer. Note: open a window or door when painting with Kilz primer. I smelled it for days.
TA-DA!



A huge success! Don't ever be afraid of painting furniture-it's a little time consuming but totally worth it. :)