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.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!