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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One of My Favorite Naughty Snacks: Bagels & Icing

A lot of times when I go grocery shopping, I try to pay attention to only the healthy essentials. (Unhealthy essentials include Oreo's, pudding, cookie dough, etc. And yes, on days when I don't care about being healthy, they are most definitely essentials.)

However, one thing I did recently allow myself to buy was a bag of mini bagels and a container of vanilla icing.


This is definitely one of the most amazing things to indulge in. It makes me feel so much better that I'm eating the icing with the bagel rather than cake or something, and it just tastes amazing.

My mom started making this for me when I was little because we had bagels, but we'd run all out of cream cheese! We had leftover icing from a cake, though, so she improvised and decided to put the icing on the bagel.

I like the mini bagels best, just because a large bagel with icing would be so much to eat and so overpowering. Plus, even after using up a whole bag of mini bagels, there was still enough icing for me to scrape out of the container with my finger. :) Yum.

Ingredients:
1 Mini Bagel
1 knife
1 container vanilla icing (or your choice, really. I wonder how cream cheese icing would taste)

Directions:
Pull the mini bagel into halves. Use the knife to spread as much or as little icing as you want on your bagel.
You can even add sprinkles or something if you'd like. I've used sprinkles a couple times before and it was pretty good!

Do you have any naughty snacks that you can't help but sneak every once in awhile?


Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School Organization: Part 2

We finally got our desk! My mom's fiance got all moved in last week and yesterday they brought us over a desk and a bookshelf! (More on the bookshelf later. Right now I'm in desk mode.)




There are a few pictures just to give you an idea of what it looks like. So much space!!



I have a couple of dry erase boards from The Board Dudes. I've used them for many things, but right now I haven't decided what to use them for. Maybe something will come to me eventually!


Here's the whole desk top. Look at all of that working space! It has a pull out drawer for a keyboard, but my boyfriend and I just own laptops, so that won't really be necessary for us. I just stashed a few things down there for the time being.


The top drawer is a little messy but I'm hoping to get some small containers or separators eventually to clean it up a bit. I just put all of the extra writing utensils (highlighters, pens, sharpies, pencils) and some notecards, tape, and adhesive strips.


On top of the desk I put all of the things that I use most often, such as the stapler, three-hole punch, paper clips, and sticky notes.


In the cabinet I put Jon's and my schoolbooks. I gave him the bottom shelf though because I don't want to have to bend over that much. Especially when I get really big. :)


I love these containers right here. One has four square pockets so I have pens in one, pencils in another, highlighters in a third, and sharpies in the fourth. Then the other has a budget notebook, stamps, and other miscellaneous items. Then I have my small notepad and my planner on the top shelf for easy access. :)


I love using manila folders. I have a magazine rack turned file holder on the desk that hold all of my manila folders. There are folders for each of mine and Jon's school paths, apartment stuff, taxes, and then I have one for this semester of school. It holds all of my syllabi, school projects, and other things. I usually have one folder per class, but since most of my classes this semester are online, most of my work will be done online rather than printed out.


Here is the whole thing, with ultrasound pictures taped up for us to look at. :) We still don't have a chair for the desk, though, but I can't wait to get one and get to using my wonderful new desk space!!

Do you have new desk spaces that you enjoyed organizing? How do you organize your school things? I'd love to hear!

PS: I just wanted to share some news with you guys because I'm so excited! I'm finally starting to feel the baby move!! Two more weeks until I find out if we're having a boy or a girl! :)


Saturday, August 25, 2012

15 Back to School Treats

Now that it's back to school time, it's time for everyone to get back into their daily routines full of schedules. I have yet to figure a schedule out for myself as it is currently 1:30 and I am still sitting on the couch in my PJs. But that's what happens when you're tired, lazy, and pregnant. Another thing that happens (at least to me) is constantly wanting to eat SUGAR. I swear, you should see how many desserts I have pinned since getting pregnant! Unfortunately, we have like nothing to make them with in our apartment, so all I have been able to do is look and drool. :(

But since it's back to school season, why not look at a few adorable little back to school treats for the kids? :)
















Can't wait til I finally have my baby and he or she is old enough to go to school so I can make all of these cute little treats! For now I guess I'll just have to overload the apartment with them for myself because Jon isn't much of a dessert person. Oh, woe is me. :)

Do you have any other cute back to school treat ideas? I'd love to see!


Monday, August 20, 2012

The Best Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe Ever


I am not lying or exaggerating in any way. This recipe for peanut butter cookies is seriously amazing. I have never eaten peanut butter cookies this good. I will never use a different recipe again.

Sometimes I just sit at home bored and decide "I want to bake something!" Usually it's something sweet and usually it's just because I love sweets.

My boyfriend isn't a big dessert person, which makes me mad when I want him to try something that I made, but also makes me happy because that means there's more for me. :)

But I decided to look up a recipe for peanut butter cookies. I was really picky at first because I didn't have very many ingredients at home, but finally ended up having to go to the store for brown sugar and baking soda so that I'd have all of the ingredients. It was so worth it though: you cannot eat just one of these.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar together.
  • Add eggs and vanilla.
  • Add peanut butter, baking soda, and salt until well blended.
  • Add flour and mix until just incorporated.
  • Spoon dough in cookie sized scoops onto a greased cookie sheet and then press down on the top of the scoops and make the signature peanut butter cookie hash marks with a fork.
  • The recipe says bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, and I found that the perfect time to cook them for was right in the middle at 9 minutes.
I can't quite remember how many cookies this made, but it was a damn good amount! :) I was a little nervous at first because one lady had commented on the recipe saying that once she added the flour it messed up the entire batch. I'm not quite sure what she did wrong, though, because I loved these cookies!

Happy baking! Do you have any recipes that you think are just the best and a different one could never top it?


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back-to-School Organization: Part 1

It's that time of year! Everyone is going back to school! Well, I always take summer classes so it's nothing new, but for all the little ones who have had the summer off, it's back to school season!

This is only part one of my back-to-school organization because I don't have my desk yet. Once I get that and get my school things packed, it is on. Today I'm just going to introduce two of my school survival guides!


These two things are my planner and my little notepad. Absolute essentials in going back to school. And aren't they so pretty? :)


The day all of the classes open up and the syllabi are posted, I go through and print every single syllabus and write down all of the important dates in my planner, such as tests, essay due dates, etc. That way I'm never surprised when I have a test the next day or an essay is due that night.


I use my little notepad for lots of things, as seen above: taking notes on things I see on Pinterest, writing down recipes, or as a scorepad during a card game (I was winning).


The big thing I use my notepad for, though, is to do lists. I cannot function without a to do list. I make to do lists for everything. Honest. It's either the pregnancy, or my brain just doesn't retain information well, or both, but if I do not write down everything that I need to get done, it just will not get done. Especially with schoolwork. I started this last semester and it worked wonders. Plus it just feels so good to scratch off an accomplishment once you've completed it.

You can see Back to School Organization: Part 2 here to see how I keep my desk organized during the school year!

What are your back-to-school must-haves? Do you keep to do lists, too?


Friday, August 10, 2012

DIY Love Note Board

I saw this floating around Pinterest and I instantly fell in love with it. Such a sweet reminder of why you love someone. This week has been especially rough with my boyfriend and me. He works everyday and I've been working every night in order to make enough for bills and today is the first day I'm off in about a week so we're excited to spend it together. But seeing each other only when he leaves for work and when I come home from work really stinks. Plus I've just been extremely hormonal (thanks pregnancy), so it just hasn't been the best week. So I finally got around to making this love note dry erase board and I can't wait for Jon to get home from work to see it. :)


Here is the finished product! I have it on a cute little half table we have right in the front room so it's easy to see. :) It was extremely easy, as well! The hardest part was designing the font, but only because I'm so damn picky!


Here are the supplies I started out with: a 5x7 frame (although I've seen it made in an 8x10 frame, I just thought that was too big), a piece of scrapbook paper (I was so excited I found a piece of 8.5x11 scrapbook paper that I liked that could fit right into the printer!), and a bow. I was going to buy some ribbon and just make a couple of bows, but then I saw this one and took the lazy way out. :)


After taking at least an hour to design my font, and printing it out several times onto regular printer paper until I figured out how to get it to print perfectly, I finally printed it onto the scrapbook paper. I took the glass out of the frame and place it on top exactly where I wanted the words to be and then just cut around the glass to make it easy.



You can see my reflection in like all of these pictures. :P



I was going to put the bow on the upper left hand corner, but then realized that it needed to stick onto something flat, and the frame corner is definitely not flat. So I just stuck it onto the glass in the upper right hand corner! I like it even better there!


Here is the finished product with my cute little message on it. :) I love it!

This project was extremely easy and you can do it in much less than an hour, depending on how picky you are about your font!

Supplies Needed:

  • A 5x7 picture frame
  • A piece of pretty scrapbook paper
  • A bow or ribbon to make a bow
  • A dry erase (or Vis-A-Vis) marker
Directions:
  • First, design your font on the computer. I just used a version of Paint that I downloaded for my Macbook to fix the fonts how I wanted them, but Microsoft Word, InDesign, or really anything would work!
  • I would suggest printing out a couple test runs before printing it right on your scrapbook paper just to make sure you get it exactly right and exactly where you want it on the paper!
  • Then print it onto the scrapbook paper and cut the scrapbook paper to fit into your frame.
  • Put the frame and everything together and then decorate with your bow(s)!
  • Write a cute message on it and display somewhere that it will be seen!
Total Project Cost:
  • Scrapbook paper: $1.99
  • Bow: $1.29
  • Frame: $4.19 (was originally $6.99 but I used a 40% off coupon I had on my phone. I am still amazed that they can scan the coupons right off your phone! I love Michael's!)
  • Dry Erase Pen: free because I used one I already had from another dry erase board
  • Total: My Michael's receipt says $8.10, but that's including taxes and everything. :) I don't feel like adding it up differently!
Now get to work and let your loved ones know that you love them! :)


Friday, August 3, 2012

DIY Painted Glasses

My very first craft project in my new apartment! I am so pleased with myself. :)


I am Pinterest crazy. I love Pinterest. I love the things I find on Pinterest. And when I first saw DIY painted glasses on Pinterest, I knew I had to make some. I went crazy pinning DIY painted glasses so that I could figure out exactly what I wanted them to look like and how exactly to go about it.


This was my inspiration photo. I love the thick random dots at the bottom that slowly fade out. (The pin doesn't actually lead to a link so I can't give you a source, but the description said they used the back of the paintbrush.)

When Jon and I first moved into our apartment we had no cups. One day I went to the Dollar Tree (where everything is seriously only ONE DOLLAR. I seriously spent about 2 minutes looking for price tags because I couldn't believe it was only a dollar for some of those things.) and they had an entire aisle full of glasses. So I bought four plain tall glasses.


I wasn't thinking about this project when I bought them, but when I was looking back at some of my old pins, I realized how perfect they were! AND they're real glass! At first I realized how cheap they were ($1 each) and thought that there's no way that they aren't plastic. But then I picked one up and started tapping my nail against it--definitely glass. YAY! (Because these have to go in the oven to bake on the paint.)


Here was my project area! We don't receive a newspaper, but I am an avid plastic bag collector. Don't ask why, I've just always kept all of my plastic grocery bags. But they worked for covering the table! Can't get any paint on my brand new beautiful blue table!


Regular acrylic paint will work, but I found gloss acrylic paint at Michael's that's meant just for painting on glass.


And then I bought some paintbrushes. At first I decided to use the bottoms of the paintbrush for perfect dots because they were all so flat and round.


(When you're painting, don't make the same mistake I did and smear your finger all through the paint as you're turning the glass.)


I figured out that putting my hand inside of the glass and turning it like that helped keeping my hand out of the way of the paint.


Now I wouldn't be me if I didn't mess up at least once or twice and absolutely hate what I had started. Luckily it was easy for me to go to the sink and scrub the paint off with my sponge and dish soap. At first I wanted to have multi-colored dots all over the glass like the inspiration photo. In the end, I decided I hated it. Then, I hated how the end of the paintbrush made the dots look.


Finally, this is what I ended up coming up with. I do love them. :) Not sure how Jon will feel drinking out of a rainbow cup, but I adore rainbows and colors, so I am very happy with them! I ended up using the actual paintbrush because it was much faster and made different sized dots without having to switch paintbrushes. And made more dots at one time before having to put more paint on the brush.


The moment of truth! This was actually the first time I've used the stove in the apartment, and I was really scared I was going to break the glasses or something was going to go wrong. But I opened the stove and here they were, standing there all perfectly colorful and undamaged!


I'm very happy with how they turned out. Now let's see you jazz up some of your plain old glasses!

The entire project took me about 2 1/2 hours. An entire hour was spent messing up glasses, though. Once I finally figured out what I wanted, it was an hour and a half. Cooking time included.

Supplies Needed:

  • Glasses (however many you want to paint)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Oven
  • Cookie tray
  • Newspapers or plastic bags to cover your table
  • Paper towels to dry off brush and cup of water to wash out the brush when you switch paints
Directions:
  • Set up your painting station. Cover with newspaper or plastic bags because we all know how depressing it would be to spill paint all over your table or floor or whatever you're using. 
  • Start painting. I first started using the end of the paintbrush for more round dots, but in the end decided that I liked how the brush end looked better. Keep your hand inside of the glass to keep from messing up the paint and rotate it using that hand or the rim of the glass.  I started with the pink at the very bottom of the glass. I did each color on all four glasses before moving to the next color. At first I did a lot of really tight dots together and then fewer spread out dots towards the end of the rainbow.
  • Once you're finished painting and the glasses are exactly how you wanted, place them on a cookie sheet in the oven. Then preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Make sure the oven is off when you put the glasses in. Severe change in temperature will cause them to crack and all of your hard work will have gone down the drain. Let the glasses sit in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes has passed, turn off the oven. Let the glasses cool in the oven. I turned the oven off right before I went to work and took the glasses out the oven when I got home about three hours later. Perfect! :)
  • Glasses are not going to be dishwasher safe anymore unless you want to lose paint off the glasses. Be gentle handwashing. We haven't used ours so I'm not sure exactly how durable the paint is, but after being baked on it should be good to go.
  • Enjoy your brand new painted glasses!
It ended up being extremely cheap for me, too.
4 glasses from Dollar Tree: $4
Paint and paintbrushes from Michael's: $5.68 (plus I used a 20% off coupon from the smartphone app)
Total: Less than $10 for colorful completely remade glasses. Imagine having to buy a set like this. Not. Cheap.

Now check out your kitchen and get to painting some glasses!