No. 13 – Things I Like (to Pin)

NOTE: I apparently had this sitting in my drafts for a few months! ~_~ Some of the thoughts at the beginning are terribly out of date, but the rest is still totally applicable! From late April…

~~~

Turns out I was barely at home last weekend to even begin to start any more blog posts! Ah, well, at least I’ll get one under my belt today before my hectic weekend. I’m going on day 5 of 8 at work, which is dandy for my paycheck, but strangely, working half days all week before covering two full shifts for a co-worker doesn’t actually make one more productive. lol. Maybe that’s just me. :P I’ve found myself wanting to nap more than I ought to, then of course, I’ll have some trouble sleeping later at night, which only makes me tired for the next day, and more naps, et.c. It’s a vicious cycle. Add to that a few days of nasty weather and a few unfortunate set of circumstances, and I feel myself wearing thin. Today’s Friday, you say? Oh, I thought it was two days ago…

On the bright side, we are officially just under two weeks away from my birthday (yay me!) and a little over two weeks until I head back to Alaska for a week to visit family, and hopefully spend some time with my brother, while he’s running around spending his last few days of senior-dom before he’s set free upon the world. Should be fun. :)

But onto the actual topic of this post. I’m sure most of you at least know what Pinterest is, if you aren’t obsessed with pinning everything in site already. :) I’ll admit, back when I was planning my Halloween party, I was on it basically every day, mostly pinning my own inspiration, and occasionally finding my own among the users, before it was a wide-spread phenomenon. Below are a few things I like to pin – genres, if you will, which I think make Pinterest a little more interesting/useful/etc than your average photo-share site. (Though, yes, I will admit it is extremely similar to Tumblr in a lot of ways.) Click on the pictures to find the pin or site the pin is from.

Home Remedies

I love home remedies. I honestly have urges to put on a A-line dress, heels and bright red lipstick and conduct my house like June Cleaver. Or maybe like Lucy Ricardo, depending on the day. I’m also fascinated by how people conducted their live and found ways to do things before modern science had it’s way with the world. To something as simple as laundry soap to herbal remedies for ailments, and even planting and growing our own food…with all the picked, washed, and packaged food in our stores, the majority of America I believe is very out of touch with the natural world. Maybe that’s a little too proselytizing or political for some folks, and I certainly don’t expect every human on the planet to have first-hand knowledge of such things, but I do find the idea of helping ourselves (and most likely our planet, in the process) interesting. Having grown up in a fairly rural area, and now living in a city, I can appreciate both worlds, and I love that my city is so conscientious of recycling, composting, and keeping the earth green. Here are some of my favourite home remedies I’ve found while on Pinterest:

Homemade Laundry Soap

The ingredients to make this laundry soap can be a little expensive at first, but overall, it makes a TON of laundry soap, and will last longer and cost you less in the long run. Worth a try! Our clothes don’t necessarily need a bunch of different chemicals/scents to get clean! Not that long ago, people still used standard soap and a washboard…we’re lucky! Also, the woman whose blog hosts this idea has ideas for almost homemade anything! I’ve been a little obsessed with her site for a while now…go check it out! OneGoodThingByJillee.

Orange Citrus-Vinegar Cleaner

We all know citrus has some amazing cleaning powers – it’s why it’s in almost any cleaner you’ll find now! But I bet you didn’t know VINEGAR is always awesome. We can clean with it, bake with it, make salad dressing with it…it’s a multipurpose tool. I really need to keep more of it around! Adding orange peel to vinegar and letting it sit for two weeks will provide you with a nice cleaning concentrate that smells much better than some harsh chemicals or plain vinegar. Plain vinegar can also be used as a weed repellant! Apple cider vinegar is amazing for rinsing your hair of buildup, cleaning up breakouts on our skin, and ingested, helps with your digestive tract, too. You may not love the smell of it, but vinegar is clearly a powerful little tool to have around.

Fixing Broken Makeup

Rubbing alcohol can fix your broken makeup! Just dab a few drops onto your broken makeup, and re-form the makeup into your compact. Let it dry overnight, and voila! fixed makeup, and money saved. The alcohol evaporates, so it won’t dry out your skin, or smell afterwards. Win-win!

Home Teeth Whitening Solutions

Now, I’m lucky enough to not have any severe stains on my teeth – but I do drink coffee and soda on occasion, and my teeth are not as white as I would like. This blogger suggests using hydrogen peroxide (yes, really) and baking soda as a nice, cheap way to get your teeth a few shades whiter at home. Considering Isee “Arm & Hammer” baking soda in lots of cleaning products now (laundry detergent, and even toothpaste) it’s a wonder I didn’t think of this before! Check out this two-step process, but don’t over-do it. Over-whitening can wear down the enamel on your teeth, and once it’s gone, you can’t get it back!

Food

I eat with my eyes. And my nose, if the food happens to be in the same room as I’m in. Yes, this means green and purple ketchup are on my list of things that never should have been invented. No, they do not taste the same as regular red ketchup. Yes, tomatoes are green before they’re ripe, but not THAT green. Fried green tomatoes are delicious, but at least they’re real, non-color-treated food. I don’t want my hot dog or burger looking like something out of a Play-doh set, thank you. So one of the things I love about Pinterest (and really any blog involving food) is SEEING the food before I try it. Don’t you just love it when cookbooks have lots of pictures? Especially with more complicated recipes, or techniques the average home chef doesn’t have in their arsenal. A recipe is one thing, but if I don’t know what the directions mean, god knows what’s going to come out of the oven. And I’m a fairly well-learned cook, but even I like to make sure I know what I’m doing. Of course, even when I think something isn’t quite right, my guinea pigs (aka: roommates) tell me it’s amazing. I try to tell myself that my pallette is just more developed than theirs, but I’m probably just too hard on myself. lol. Anyhow, quickly looking through pins for food ideas is fun. Easier than looking through a cookbook or blog, and can sometimes inspire other things, as well.

Apple Pie Cookies

I love apples. I love apple pie. Apple crisp. Apple cinnamon tea. Fresh apples. Apple juice. Apple cider. Apple-scented candles/plug-ins. APPLES. Anyhow, lol, these are a great idea especially if you don’t want to make a whole pie (which might be easier, actually), or having one piece of pie is just too much. (In my opinion, there’s never enough pie.) There is a higher crust-to-filling ratio, but don’t they look delicious? YUM.

Homemade seasonings.

Maybe it takes a bit more time than ripping open a packet of your favourite seasoning, but you know exactly what’s going in, and you’ll feel much better saying “I made this!” This could even be considered a home remedy, because somebody had to come up with a way to easily season food with what they had at home, right? :D

Rainbow Frosting

I love finding neat ideas like this! It’s creative and food related, and that’s always something I can get behind!

Home Decorating & Craft Ideas

I don’t yet own my own house, but I’ve probably been dreaming and re-dreaming my dream house since I was five. When I was a kid, I perused floor plan magazines, no kidding. :) Though I know nothing’s perfect, and even if I build my dream home from the foundation up, there will always be something to improve on, but in the meantime, I just LOVE finding new ideas to decorate or renovate a home.

Under-the-Stairs Storage

I don’t know how anyone could NOT love this idea! I don’t know what I’d put in this kind of storage space if I had it, but I’m sure it would get full quick!

Fabric Uses

These ideas are so versatile and cheap! Sometimes just adding a little fabric or wallpaper can really brighten up the look of a room or furniture piece!

Glossy Wallpaper

I LOVE this idea. It’s an amazing way to create some dimension to your walls. If I ever have my own house… ;)

Cupboard Makeover

I love giving new life to old pieces. I have a few old drawer sets I’d like to do this to! It would definitely help keep them from looking so white and boring like they do now!

Egg Carton Lights

Like I’ve said, I love finding new uses for things. And I really want to make these lights now and hang them up all over! Of course, I’m a fan of having lots of twinkling lights everywhere anyway! They add a bit of romanticism to a space.

Another thing I’m totally loving (and is also on Pinterest) is my friend Tia Song’s Luv Handles – beaded stainless steel serve ware with some class! I wish I could afford some of these – especially for my mom, she’d love some. Tia’s even received some orders from Tom Cruise and has recently come up with a line inspired by Tori Spelling! It’s really beautiful, check out the mint and light pink on this bottle topper:

She’s got some other great collections and can do custom orders as well. She’s also been recognized as a Martha Stewart Doer of the Week! And she’s been doing all this with a precocious little boy at home! I admire her creativity and business sense, and I can only hope my crafts take off as well. I wish her all the best in her business endeavor. It seems to be really taking off!

Well, that’s it for today. Happy Pinning!

Advertisements

No. 12 – Well, That Didn’t Last Long…

Okay, so my promise to myself to write for my crafting blog at least once a week is failing miserably. I have plenty to say, mind you, but currently less and less time to devote to such things. It saddens my heart that you all are deprived of my thoughts and wit every week. ;)

So, I’m probably going to be inundating your inboxes with a few posts over the weekend. Maybe even all of them today. :)

For this post, I’m gonna make it short and sweet and point you all in the direction of my Etsy store for a while. I’ve uploaded quite a few new items over the last month or so…a few for Easter (though that’s come and gone already!) and more birthday and now Mother’s Day cards. Check them out below!

These are just a few samples. I’ll be making more Mother’s Day cards this weekend and uploading new designs as well! Keep checking back!

Also, an important note: I am most happily going back to my hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska in early/mid-May, so I will be gone and unable to send things after May 7th. This includes Mother’s Day (which is May 13th) so if you’re looking for anything to get to you before I get back on the 16th, you should get your orders in in the next few weeks!

Okay – until the next post (soon – I promise!), happy crafting!

No. 11 – There’s a Rumbly in my Tumbly

I promise, I can talk about more than food and crafts. In fact, you’ll usually find me babbling about things like my dog, the latest book-to-movie I’m excited about (yay! Hunger Games!), and various TV shows I’m watching (there are too many to count; thankfully, I can multi-task). But, it’s been a while since I posted anything, and since I’m waiting on pictures to post about a hike I took a few weeks ago (we’re worried my roommate’s phone ate them!), I guess we’ll all have to settle for some recipes. I know, I know, it’s a tough life we live. :)

First, let’s go back to that coconut shrimp recipe from Weight Watchers I tried. It was great! The only thing I’d say, is that I really need to stock up on some plain bread crumbs or the cornflake crumbs. All I had were panko breadcrumbs, which are great, but didn’t quite coat the whole shrimp. Otherwise, it was nice having a sweet and crispy shrimp recipe that wasn’t fried! I wish I had had apricot preserves to make some dipping sauce. All I had on hand was some Thai sweet chili sauce, which worked fairly well.

Weight Watchers Coconut Shrimp
Ingredients:

1/4 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
24 medium uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1/2 cup(s) sweetened coconut flakes, chopped
1/4 cup(s) cornflake crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a 10 x 15-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick spray.

2. Whisk together the milk and flour in a large bowl. Add the shrimp; toss to coat.

3. Place the coconut and cornflake crumbs in a large zip-close plastic bag. Add the shrimp, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. Place the shrimp in the jelly-roll pan in one layer. Lightly spray with nonstick spray. Bake until the shrimp are golden on the outside and opaque in the center, about 5 minutes on each side. Yields 3 shrimp per serving.

Recently, I’ve been indulging in a few of my classic comfort foods. Mostly sweets. lol. I have a weakness for midnight baking sessions. I have a craving, and next thing I know, it’s somewhere between eight and ten pm, and I’m up until at least midnight, baking cookies or bread. So without further adieu, here’s what I’ve been up to, at midnight.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Notes: Okay, I know everyone has a chocolate chip cookie recipe they swear by, and this is mine. It was my first quarter at the Art Institute (but my fourth year in college), and a few of my dorm neighbors made these cookies and brought them around, to say hello. Kind of like the college version of the neighborhood welcoming committee. Anyhow, these girls were very sweet, and when I asked, they handed over the recipe, and it’s been taped up on my fridge door every since. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Mix sugars, egg and butter. Add in the flour, soda and salt until mixed thoroughly. Stir in the chips. Drop the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Banana Walnut Bread

Notes: I don’t ever remember where I got this recipe, but I love it. It makes really moist bread, and after a day of rest, there’s that nice, almost sticky glaze on top. You know, the kind you usually see on a thick slice from Starbucks or the bakery. If you’re looking for a bit of a healthier version, substitute the oil for plain applesauce. I found it took about an hour for it to cook all the way through, but that could just be the oven in my new apartment. It always takes an adjustment period to figure out how a new appliance works. I’ve found that my cupcakes always burn on the bottom, regardless of what rack I put them on, and yet, my cookies are always fine. Curious.

Ingredients
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Mix together sugar, oil and egg until blended. Stir in bananas. Add flour, salt and baking soda and stir until combined. Stir in walnuts.
2. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan (or lined muffin tins) and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out of the middle clean.

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Notes: I love Joy the Baker. I’ve hardly touched most of the recipes on her site (but I LOVE her peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, which work well for plain peanut butter cookies as well), but all I have to say about this recipe is look at the picture:


Image courtesy of Joy the Baker.

I mean, how could you NOT want that. It bakes up in the scrumptious doughy slices that taste just like a cinnamon roll! The crust is nice and sweet-crisp. It’s amazing. I can’t wait to make more when there’s more than just me eating it. Really. I almost ate the whole thing right away. It was torture waiting for the dough to rise a couple times then bake. TORTURE. Try this one. Really. Then go thank Joy for coming up with this one.

Well, I hope I’ve sufficiently made you love and hate me at the same time. Let me know if you try any of these. I really need to break out a decent camera when I’m baking and get some good pics.

Happy baking!

No. 10 – New Items in My Etsy Store!

Hey everyone! My awesome friend Jenn Bentz came over again last week, and took some more pics of my cards, and I finally had some time to upload a few new items to my Etsy store!

Here are a few samples of the cards I listed:

 

Please go check them out, and let me know what you think! There are a few other items not shown here, and a few things left over from Valentine’s Day, if you want to get a start on next year. :P And, if you’re so inclined, “like” The Crafty Raven on Facebook! You can stay informed about new items in my store, and new posts here on my blog. Please pass the word along!

I also got a new stamp set yesterday, and I can’t wait to use it! And I received a 30% off coupon for a local paper crafting shop, so I’m hoping to pick out something neat tomorrow. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Happy Crafting!

No. 09 – My Heart Will Go On and On…

Okay, I can’t help but use song lyrics some times for my post titles. I apologize in advance if you hate that song, and now wish you never read my blog so that it wouldn’t be stuck in your head. (It hasn’t really been stuck in my head, but it did pop up on my Spotify radio station the other day…)

Anyhow, Happy Valentine’s Day! I have a lot of friends who either hate this holiday, or are totally blase about it. And I get that. I’m not overly fond of the explosion of Pepto that happens to every place I go to either. However, I do love love, and I do love showing my friends and family how much I love them, and how much they mean to me. No, love shouldn’t only be expressed once a year, but I think it’s nice that there’s a day made to remind us to make sure we are showing our love, which is a sentiment my good (and very crafty) friend Dana shares. Please check out her recent post of Valentine’s ideas! And meet her pug, Popcorn, who is the snarfulliest pug ever. (To snarffle: something only a pug knows how to do best.)

Speaking of Valentine’s ideas, I really want to make this cake!

Heart Cake by i am baker

How COOL is that? I am inspired! I didn’t have time to make it this year, but next year… Or maybe for someones birthday. :) That’d be a nice surprise.

I found this awesome tutorial, by way of Amy Locutro, who is the creator of LivingLocurto, while she was blogging about Pinterest, and why we should (as creative bloggers) protect our images and ideas as well as we can. Very interesting reads, if your interested (which bloggers should be! I do love Pinterest, by the way, but the points Amy makes are very valid!). Anyhoo, her post about Pinterest led me to search out Amanda’s heart cake tutorial, and her site, and I just love it when I find new sites to explore.

Anyhow, I hope you all are having a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and spending it with someone special. Me? I’m spending it with this little guy right here:

Dobby.

No. 8 – I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts…

Okay, so I’ve been a little OBSESSED with coconut recently. I blame work. We just got a new ice cream vendor, and they have these all natural fruit bars by La Michoacana, and one of them is coconut. And it is amazing. Super creamy, lightly sweet, and lots of coconut bits.

I currently don’t have the luxury to hunt these down at a retail outlet, and I had all this coconut milk in my pantry (I have no idea, why, by the way), so I thought… WHY NOT MAKE MY OWN COCONUT ICE CREAM???

I don’t have a ice cream maker, though, but I remember back in middle school, making vanilla ice cream in a bag, along with root beer. Awesome chemistry learnin’ FTW!

So, here’s the recipe I used to make the ice cream (courtesy of David Lebovitz):

Ingredients:

2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy cream
1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
2 ounces (60 gr) palm sugar, or 1/4 cup white or unrefined cane sugar

(The original recipe also calls for saffron threads, but I don’t have any, and I was looking for a specific flavour, so I omitted it. I also used white sugar.)

1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and chill the mixture thoroughly.

3. Once chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

As I mentioned before, I don’t have an ice cream machine, or hand-churner, but thankfully, David Lebovitz has some directions for making ice cream the low-tech way (not even any rock salt or bags are involved) !

Here’s another recipe for coconut ice cream which is custard-based that sounds yummy!

The ice cream I made turned out really well! It tastes JUST like the bars we have at work. Maybe not quite as rich, but the flavour is there. The only issue I had was with the texture – I started it a bit late, and since I was doing it the low-tech way, I wasn’t able to stay up as late as I would have needed to keep stirring it every half hour. So it’s a bit stiff, but still very tasty! :)

Here are some pics:

Coconut ice cream!

Paired with chocolate ice cream!

Also, I bought some jumbo shrimp, and I fully intend to make use of this Weight Watchers coconut shrimp recipe:

Ingredients:

1/4 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
24 medium uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1/2 cup(s) sweetened coconut flakes, chopped
1/4 cup(s) cornflake crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a 10 x 15-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick spray.

2. Whisk together the milk and flour in a large bowl. Add the shrimp; toss to coat.

3. Place the coconut and cornflake crumbs in a large zip-close plastic bag. Add the shrimp, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. Place the shrimp in the jelly-roll pan in one layer. Lightly spray with nonstick spray. Bake until the shrimp are golden on the outside and opaque in the center, about 5 minutes on each side. Yields 3 shrimp per serving.

I hope to try that recipe in a few days. Tomorrow, a friend I haven’t seen in ages is coming over, and I’m making herb-almond crusted halibut! So I’ll share that once I’ve had a chance to try it.

And now I leave you with the scene from “The Lion King” that I’ve had stuck in my head for days:

No. 7 – And Etsy is Open

Last night, my friend Jenn Bentz came over and took some amzing pictures of my greeting cards! And so, late last night, I uploaded a few cards to Etsy!, and my Etsy store is now officially open! RIght now, I only have Valentine’s Day cards available, but I’m hoping to add a few others tonight.

Anyhow, here’s the link to my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/store/thecraftyraven9.

Please check it out! Thanks!

 

No. 6 – It’s Here!!!

Okay, so this post is about a week over-due, but real life decided to butt-in, so I apologize.

My Big Shot die-cutting and embossing system came in! (pics below) I’ve named it “Rolly Thingy”. It made more sense to my non-crafty friends when I described it that way. lol.

Anyhow, because I bought it from Stampin Up! during their Sale-a-bration promotion, I also got two free items, so I got a couple of embossing folders to go with my new toy (what’s the point of buying it when you can’t use it right away?) and some buttons, which I am still thinking about how I will use. lol.

Anyhow, here are some pics I took with my phone when he arrived:

Out of the box, after I put on the handle!

Without the platform.

On my messy craft table. lol.

the embossing folders and buttons.

a closer look.

I am very excited to finally have this tool at my disposal. I’ve been eying it for more than a year, and I can’t wait to build up the die-cuts and embossing folders to use with this. I really think it’s going to help me take my card making and paper crafts to another level. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make an impact. :)

In related news, I have a friend coming over tomorrow to help me take top-notch photos of my existing card stock so I can start selling them on Etsy! I am very excited about this venture, so keep a look out…I’ll be posting as soon as it’s ready to go; hopefully sometime this weekend. There will be a few Valentine’s cards, and birthday cards, and eventually all kinds of cards for all sorts of occasions as I build my library of tools beyond the Christmas-themed. :)

Until next time…

No.5 – And A New Year Begins

So the holidays sort of bulldozed any time I had to keep up with this new endeavor of mine, so for anyone reading, I apologize. I shall make it up to you by indulging in some of my holiday successes:

1) Halloween! It was fun, orange, and filled with all kinds of treats. For a re-cap, see my previous post. Also, a tip. If you want to make it look like you might have killed someone and then steam cleaned the carpet, splash a little laundry detergent and try your best to clean it with a wet cloth. Then turn on a blacklight, ad watch your friends stare at the revealed stain in wonder. (For those of you interested in the backstory of this little experiment, my roomie accidentally spilled some laundry detergent and we realized as the party started that it look like someone might have lost a fair amount of blood on our brand new carpet…a la TV-crime-scene style.) :D

2) Thanksgiving! I call this a success in that it was a good night filled with family and friends, and just enough food that it didn’t kill me to make it all. Last year, I had challenged myself to make everything myself in one day – the pie, the turkey, potatoes, side dishes, etc…and I did it! This year, I opted to keep the menu a little smaller, and ask for help if I needed it. If anything, I spent most of the day doing nothing and waiting for the right time to start up the side dishes! It’s all about timing. A tip: lists. I love lists. I make lists for almost everything, but mostly when I want to sort out a bunch of info in my head, and I don’t want to forget tasks or things at the store. Since last year, I made a list for the store, the cooking times, and the menu, I knew exactly what to expect this year, and it was easier. Pre-preparing can sometimes really help! I know it seems like common advice, but from someone who only party-plans for her friends that will love her and enjoy themselves even if I think it’s a disaster, I know I feel a lot better when it seems like I have a bit of control. The harder part is about letting go of that control and just letting parties be parties!

3) The Craft Fair! My employer holds an employee holiday party/craft fair every year, and all of the crafty people in my organization get together and sell their wares and generally have a good time. I had heard about it a little late, but still managed to get a table, and thankfully got to share space with a few friends of mine! It is a great, small, almost exclusive craft fair that was good for getting my feet wet. My goal, for the next year, is to build up enough stock in my card-making that I can actually start selling them. Invest in some shipping supplies, and list some things on Etsy. I hope whomever’s reading this may be interested in helping that endeavor. I might actually start selling cards for Valentine’s day. And perhaps a few other crafts I manage to make. Below are a few pictures from the craft fair, just so you can see what I’m all about.

As you can see, it’s mostly all Christmas/Holiday stuff, but, well, it was that time of year! I can’t wait to build up my tools and stock some more and make some more cards!

4) Christmas! I spent it at home, with family and friends, opening presents and making a delicious ham dinner. :) Here’s my mom’s recipe for a ham glaze:

Ham Glaze

Ingredients:

Whole cloves (about 10)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup orange juice

1 8oz can pineapple chunks in juice

1 tbsp corn starch

2 tsp dry mustard (or wet mustard to taste)

Directions:

1) Across the top of your ham, cut lines diagonally  and then crosswise, to make diamonds. In each corner, push a clove in, so they dot the top of the ham. Cook ham per packaging directions.

2) In a small saucepan, mix brown sugar, orange juice, 2 tbsp of the pineapple juice, and the dry mustard. Heat over medium high until it starts to bubble. Add corn starch. Remove from heat.

3) A half-hour away from finishing time, pour the pineapple chunks over the ham, with the rest of the juice. Pour the juice mixture over the ham and continue cooking.

Recipe works for about 1 1/2 pounds of ham.

5) New Years! Usually, New Year’s Eve, we watch the fireworks at the Space Needle. This year, we had some friends over, opened some belated Christmas gifts, and watched “Star Wars” on BluRay.

All in all, it was a great holiday season. I hope you all had a wonderful time as well!

Until next time!

No. 04 – Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

Okay, so my Halloween party wasn’t themed after Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” (one of my favourite books as a kid, by the way) But there were a few odd looking folk attending, and it went off pretty well, so I say – success! Everyone had fun – that’s in important part. And, I got LOTS of compliments on the food and decor, so YAY!

Most of the pictures I have are of people, so I will probably be blurring out some faces to protect the innocent *wink* but there are a few of the decor and food! Oh, and my dog. :D

Decor from above.

Fuzzy decor.

The beginnings of a party…

The Secret Society’s Past Members

Ghost Wine

Ghostly Libations

Bloody punch.

Fossil Cookies

Bleeding cakes.

Graveyard dirt.

Vampire Cookies. Courtesy of Clair Drake.

An apocalypse is coming.

Dobby and Yoda have a conversation.

Cruella Deville.

Me, a Gypsy.

I wish my camera were better quality, but some pictures turned out really well, considering. :) I wish I had gotten more pictures of some of the details, but I hope you all enjoyed this little taste of my very successful Halloween party. Happy Halloween to you!