Monday, January 31, 2011

West Elm Loot!

So I finally got my gift card for my health coach calls and because I had already gotten my blender and my toaster oven. So then I had to try and decide what to get instead. I ended up getting 2 duvets and 4 shams from west elm. One for the living room to cover the futon until we get the couch, which will hopefully be happening this year. The organic pintuck duvet and shams in steel blue:

I am a little unsure the blue might be to different from the curtains and the rug. I also got one for the bedroom however we are not even going to take it out of the bag until we do our bedroom but just for a peek it is the solarized duvet:

Can you imagine this with dark blue walls and dark wood tones?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wedding Wednesday

I have seen other blogs that every Wednesday they talk about weddings. I think that I will try to do that in the future and every Wednesday give you some progress on the wedding. This weekend Mary and I spend some quality time working on wedding things and tying up some projects. We had already done hours of work on the thank you notes that we finished this weekend. You can see the process that we followed from the link but just for some eye candy:

Then when Christy was in visiting from Florida, Melissa was staying for the visit and Sandy was up before a party we started working on the outermost part of the invitation cards. My friend Aaron at work had designed  the aspen tree scene to my specifications and then Melissa had pain-stakenly ripped, embossed and cut out leafs for the invites, see all of her handy work here. This is what we assembled and Mary and I finished them this weekend:

There are about one hundred and forty of these. Since there are not that many invites that are going out (think couples and families) I plan on creating the programs in the rest of them as everything I read tells me that you should only make enough programs for forty percent of your guests. 

Now that we have the engagement pictures done we can start thinking about the save the dates I want them to be sent off in a month or so. I had purchased some maybe two years ago when I was planning on having a Tiffany blue wedding. That is no longer the color scheme. I will be able to convert them not only to go with the color scheme of the wedding but to fit in the left over invite envelopes. This is what the sample looks like:

There is a Tiffany blue boarder all the way around which I cut off this weekend so that they are just white. I may be adding some green, blue or wood grain to them before they go out. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Metal Bendy Straws!!!

Have you ever had just an utterly fantastic weekend to have it all spoiled by one person that was just being a turd? I had one of those this weekend. It started off so wonderfully my uber talented brother took our amazing engagement pictures, here is an example:

You thought I was exaggerating when I said they were amazing, and that he is uber talented didn't you, don't worry we won't hold it against you. Then we had a fantastic relaxing and super productive weekend that we were lucky enough to spend with family. (Some of that productiveness will be posted tomorrow) Then on the way home I have an email, a facebook post, a text and a phone message all from someone that was going to be a turd. This situation caused me stress from Sunday night well into Monday morning. I decided then that I was not going to let it bug me anymore and let it go. But then something happened, my dear friend Christina brought my Monday to a level of bliss. Remember my What I Want For Christmas post? The first thing on there was Metal Bendy Straws from West Elm. I saw them on another blog and I was instantly in love <3 <3 I have an unnatural love for bendy straws, I use them a Chic Fil a even though I know they are intended for the kids meals, I have even been known to drink beer though them. In fact when Mike and I were dating he and Dustin always had them on hand when I would visit. 

One morning I was at work with my friend Chris and I was telling him that I was lusting over these metal bendy straws, the gave me the look like I was kinda crazy (as he often does) and I decided that if I showed him the picture of the metal bendy straws maybe he would understand. So I look them up on West Elm's website only to have this picture pop up:

Below this picture were three of the dirtiest words in the English language that could be applied to the situation:
No Longer Available

Coupled with the fact that this was three short days from when I had discovered them I was a little irate, then something that might have changed West Elm forever happened. A little box appeared asking me if I would like to take a short survey... :D Yep Sure would, I gave them some very direct concise feedback on how I thought it was very inconsiderate to take a new item off the website so close to Christmas, an item that was very cool and undoubtedly on many peoples wish lists. But I also found it to be mean spirited to leave the picture up so people could see what they wanted without any hope of being able to have it. Apparently it really did not change their minds as you still cannot buy the metal bendy straws, and they still have the picture up as unavailable.  

Anyway Chris had told my friend Christina about my little melt down and told her that he had found them on Amazon and that she should get them for me as a present. She did and it made my week, heck I am drinking sparkling water out of one of them now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sour Cream Pie Crust

I was asked yesterday what was the first thing that I cooked in my new toaster oven? It was my favorite potpies.

 While I had gushed about how happy I was to be getting one I have not blogged about it. I had not really blogged about it since then. I LOVE it is perfect, we have used it for so many things and it is just so beautiful. That crust was a new recipe that I tried after the whole pie crust fiasco... Later when there was not an event we had a deadline on I decided to make a bunch of pie crust, I do not want to ever buy it pre made again. I had heard that sour cream pie crusts are AMAZING, I had no idea but they are as you can see they really are, and so simple. I had the sour cream and some Crisco that my mom gave me when she moved, I never use the stuff. But I did and now I may have to. The following recipe is from

1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. ice water
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. cake flour
1/2 c. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter
1/2 c. chilled solid vegetable shortening

Combine sour cream, water, sugar and salt in small bowl. Combine both flours in large bowl. Cut in butter and shortening with fingers or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sour cream mixture and stir just until dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Divide in half. Form each half into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap each disk in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour, (can be prepared 1 month ahead; freeze).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My First Estate Sale was at a Hoarders House.

On Friday after my haircut and facial I was on my way home and I was going to stop at the thrift stores that were between the spa and our house. I had been to two without any luck and then I saw a sign for an estate sale. I have never been to an estate sale before and I figured that January must be a pretty rough month and the deals might be good. So I went. Then I was getting scared what if I got there and there was no one else there would it be dangerous what if they were freaky bad people luring people (well women I would guess that the majority of people that go to estate sales are women) to do bad things to them. I decided that if there was not at least four other people there I would not go in. There was two blocks of cars for this thing. I knew I would be safe. So I went in. As soon as I got in I wanted out! It was a real live honest to goodness hoarder house. They must have had seven cats and I am REALLY allergic to cats, sometimes I cannot even endure a car ride with someone that has cats without being drugged. Remember how I said that there were two blocks of cars for this thing? Well this was a train that once you were on there was no getting out of. There was barely a walkway to walk through and no room to turn around. So I went through. I did find a few things. But I also counted sixteen wedding dresses and there were thirty empty wardrobe boxes in the back. Here are my treasures that cost me $7

Mod podge I always see people talking about it in blogland and I have never used it, It was sealed so I figured it would be fine. I also found a baggie in one of the desk drawers they sold me everything in this first photo for $1. Eight vintage typewriter balls you can see what I have done in the past with them here, and here. Then there was a cute little ruler and a little alligator snapper. 

The globe. I have wanted a globe for a long time but I always see them very expensively and cheap, this one was listed as a gift from the 1970's. I want to paint it with chalkboard paint and then chalk in the continents, I have a lot of chalkboard paint left over from my chalkboard pig. However I want this to be green chalkboard paint if there is such a thing. I learned that the Equator is the glue (or the sticker) that olds the glue together. I learned that when the equator came off when I was disinfecting the globe when I got it and everything else home. 

This was the "alligator snapper" I was talking about. I am really not sure what this is...
What do you think this is?
Really leave me a comment.

SO this is what I learned:

Things I like about estate sales, well priced unique items, and with this one, if you or more specifically I was not really as bought in to the purging for the New Year, this will help you a lot. I have taken three loads of things to goodwill since Friday. I texted Mike the other day to see if he was ok with me donating certain things and he laughed at me... extensively and said honey if there is something you are willing to part with by all means GET RID OF IT! I have taken a blow up mattress, its pump, two pairs of shoes, a digital picture frame, curtains, and a home improvement thing back since then because anything extra we have we do not need.

What I do not like about estate sales or at least this one, They sold the food (ickky), and the bath items some half used (gross), they had lots of cats, and I could not get out once I got in until everyone in front of me was ready. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

After Christmas Loot

I know that I am behind but when I was in my thirteen days of silence I happened to walk through target the day that the Christmas decor hit 90% off. I had read on someone else's blog and that they had gotten a bunch of cookie cutters. I was looking for those but when I got there I found something else. There was an abnormal amount of ornaments. I got a lot. They were all $.60. I bought over 200 of them. Mostly the mixed one on the left ten boxes of those. Four of the plain chrome, four of the clear and the other two shown at the bottom.

I also got snow vase filler for $1.24 each, these accessories kits for $1 each, and all sorts of snowflakes.  

Back to the ornaments at the time I was very afraid that the twilight Christmas tree would not be able to be stored without being broken, however my wonderful fiancĂ©e Mike took care of it. My great friend Cindy had sent me this link about the Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile. This is where I will be going next year

It will be great and for less than $20... See a great how to here

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lavender butter

Ok, so I am kind of backlogged on some of the cool things that I have done and not posted about so it was really about a week ago when I made this. Lavender butter:

The lighter ones on the left are just lavender butter the ones on the right that are darker have honey and maple syrup in them. I just combined one stick of softened butter with a tablespoon of culinary lavender I put in the blender, then for the sweet one I also put in a squirt of honey and a squirt of maple syrup. I let it sit for twenty four hours, which was very hard, and then I put it in a pipping bag so I could create these darlings that could be frozen and taken out as needed. What was left over that would not pipe I spread on French bread and toasted like garlic bread...

Oh my goodness, I cannot even explain...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Things for my desk

Today I did nothing but hang out with my boy, we so rarely have days off together so I felt I had to take advantage. Yesterday I had a dentist appointment. No cavities yay! Anyways after I had a some time to kill before work so I headed to a few thrift stores, one right by my dentist's office. I bought three things for the office. Lately we have just been getting new things, and I haven't made anything amazing in a while. There was also a moment when the girls were here for New Years where I realized exactly how much of my stuff is from Target. Not that anything is wrong with that, I love the Tar-jet' boutique. I shop there at least once a week. I needed some inspiration or a quick little pick me up project that would distract me from the many very large daunting projects that I have in the works for this year. I did not find that. I did find a few things that I really surprised me. For those of you that know me I love silver and platinum. I will admit that I am the ONLY person that I know that owns silver plated gold. The most disgusting metal to me is brass and yellow gold, it is so gross and while I am aware that in many cases it is very expensive, it does absolutely nothing for me. Until today. Which is also odd because I do not change my mind about things, and I really have not. I have simply found three exceptions to the rule, and I purchased them for much more than I would have normally paid for something like this. My plan was to spray paint them white or maybe green. Once I got them home after thinking about them at work all day I decided to try and clean them up and see their true beauty, (and even if they were hideous it would not be a waste of time because they would need to be clean to paint them) and then decide from there. So I googled "How to Clean Brass" the first hit was from a website called How to Clean Things cool you had me at hello.

I followed these instructions:

For these reasons brass is understandably quite popular. The ancient Romans were probably the first to make and use brass extensively. They used brass to make coins, jewelry, decorations, and adornments for armor. Due to its anti-corrosive properties, it was later used in ship production for its ability to hold up against water and salt. With all this in mind, it's no small wonder that brass is still so widely used today. Nowadays, it's used in everything from wall clocks to trim around a fireplace to statues. When it comes to cleaning brass—be it an ancient Roman artifact or, I don't know, a doorknob—people get flummoxed. It's a beautiful metal, and the last thing you want to do is cause any damage to it. Luckily, it's easy as all get out to do and to do it naturally. There are numerous brass cleaning methods that use nothing but non-hazardous kitchen ingredients and, depending on the method and the amount of tarnish, a little elbow grease. In this article, I will fully cover my preferred method of cleaning brass and mention in brief several other well-trusted methods.

Cleaning Brass Naturally

Before cleaning brass, check it with a magnet to make sure it is brass.Before you set to cleaning your brass, make certain that what you are cleaning is indeed made of brass. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but I'm serious. There is a very simple test. First, go to the kitchen and pull a magnet off the fridge. Next, put the magnet on the piece of “brass” in question. If the magnet will not stick to it, you are indeed dealing with brass. If the magnet sticks, there is a good chance that what you have is a piece of brass-plated iron or steel. If this is the case, I would recommend stopping after the next step.
Clean brass with warm water and gentle soap.Go to the kitchen sink and get to work. Fill the sink with just enough lukewarm water to submerge the brass object in and mix in some gentle liquid dish detergent. If the object is lacquered or just brass plated and you wish to keep it that way, dip a soft cotton rag into the soap and water, ring it out as well as you can so that it is only slightly damp, and gently wipe the surface clean. If the object is not lacquered, start by soaking it for a few minutes. After a soak, use a cotton rag to wash it. Don't be afraid to apply a little pressure. Use a soft bristled toothbrush to get in the cracks and detailing. After you're done, have a look at it. If that did the trick, you can skip the next few steps. I did this but I was not fully satisfied.
I skipped his next suggestion because the lacquer was not cracked so on to the next suggestion:
Make a homemade brass cleaner with salt and lemon.
Create your own brass polish. This is a ridiculously easy process. First, find a lemon. Great. Now cut it in half, dig out the seeds and squeeze all the juice out of it and into a bowl. Next, find yourself some table salt or baking soda. Doesn't matter which; either will work fine. Slowly stir the salt or soda into the lemon juice until a paste consistency is reached. Now that you have your brass cleaner, use a soft cotton cloth to apply it to the brass. Using the same rag, going with the grain of the metal, work it gently into the brass to remove tarnish. Salt and soda act as a light abrasive, so don't push too hard. If you're really concerned, or the item is brass plated, just go with the lemon juice and skip the salt/soda. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the crevices. This I did just be aware that lemon juice is an acid and baking soda is a base and as you are putting them together it makes a volcano like in elementary school. I also broke out my sonicare toothbrush. Every time I replace my head I save the old one and then I label it cleaning only so if i have something I want to clean with elbow grease without greasing my elbow.... wallah. Then I went to work on one of the little suckers which I just realized I have not even told you what they are yet, well a picture is worth a thousand words right?

Aren't they cute? No one else will have them. The  at Once one had only been soaked in the sink the later one had just been polished with the scrub with my sonicare. Now for the piste-resistance:

Won't it just look darling on my desk with paper clips and straight pins and well I don't know but it does not really matter in it? yay! Later and at Once are heavy you could not kill a home intruder with one but you could definitely debilitate one. That is one of the ways I judge if something is quality or not. I don't even think I will spray paint any of them. 
Do - Mix up your metals. Don't settle for the same old stuff, like porcelain or stainless steel sinks, or brass bathroom fixtures. Choose instead platinum or copper sinks, or chrome or nickel hardware. And always look for quality.
So I will be doing ok with mixing metals if I have this brass on my copper penny desk, with my oil rubbed bronze lamps and my silver accented crystal chandelier. I feel better about the office already. Tomorrow will be a big to-do day, don't worry I will reward myself with a glass (or two) of wine with my girls after... 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New backpack

So as a gift from work I was given this backpack:

Well I guess I should say that I had a choice of many items and I chose this backpack. I am a pretty outdoorsy person. I enjoy making smores, camping, hiking, fishing ect. What I really DON'T enjoy is backpacking. I had a VERY bad experience with one of my ex-boyfriends. I swore that I would NEVER go backpacking again, but in every relationship there is give and take and as it turns out this is one of those areas where I need to give in. For those of you out there that think I might be acting a little extreme about one hiking trip let me tell you that I almost died literary multiple times on this trip, That a four hour hike ended up taking nine and the "lake" that was at the top had dried up. Because there was a "lake" at the top of this mountain he suggested since I was new we only take enough water to get to the top and then we could use our water purification stuff to make more drinking water. So the water we had brought was enough for four hours, see how this is very bad?

Anyways it did not fit right so I brought it to REI and traded it in for store credit and went to try some on with a very helpful team member named Sarah. The first one I liked and it was priced comparably to my credit. The second one was about a hundred dollars more and the second I put it on I was relieved as it was not comfortable. I had mad up my mind to get the first one when Sarah said much better this one fits you so well that first one would have given you issues...

So I left the REI with only a headlamp in hopes to go back in spring when they have a larger selection and hopefully when they are on sale. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

I have been slacking, a new year and going forward

Hello my name is Tiffany and it has been THIRTEEN days since my last post. I was sick AGAIN, I had some wonderful ladies in town, hosted two parties and had a jam-packed work week. Then I had only one day off and I back for another one, by the way did I mention that I have also started working out everyday?But now I am here again. Since I missed new year's and all the posts about that I figured that I should share some on that. I had a very nice very relaxed new year with a few of my favorite people, it was wonderful. My new year, the new year, I will get married this year, I will get to see some of my favorite people and there might be some changes on the work front as well. My new year resolutions for this year are as follows:

  • I will not be a Bridezilla

  • I will not be a Bridezilla
  • I will not be a Bridezilla
  • I will have my paper boxes transfered over to electronic copies, no small task as I have already mad over 1,000 scans and I have at least six seven boxes in the guest room and I cannot recall if I have any in the garage and at this very moment I am too much of a chicken to go and look. 
  • I will continue to change our life to consume less and reuse things whenever possible. 
The other night I was talking to my mom and she told me that Peter Walsh (he was the main organizer from TLC's Clean Sweep) has a show on Oprah's network OWN. I checked and Enough Already with Peter Walsh was the next show on. So Mikey and I watched it. It was a good episode for me to watch. I am not a hoarder by any means. We have a beautiful home that we are able to function in and if friends stop by unexpectedly it is not an embarrassment. I do have WAY more things than Mikey has. Years ago at Target I bought a bunch of light blue Tupperwares with red handle clips. The rule has been that I could only have enough stuff that I was not "using" that could fit in them. And I thought I had stayed true to that until my parents moved to Texas and I realized just how much long term storage I had at their house. Then there was a lot of nonsense so I have extra boxes that are in the garage that are not blue. That will change this year. Today was said to be -13 degrees in Denver, I never personally saw a thermometer at that level but I will say for the first time since we have moved in to our condo I wished that my Blazer was in the garage instead of many in-progress projects. I also recently realized that I have four blue Tupperwares between the guest room closet and the patio closet that are not labeled, therefore not inventoried and that is simply unacceptable. I am a total crackberry addict, all of my blue Tupperwares that are labeled and inventoried are cataloged in a memo in my BlackBerry so if I ever need something I just simply scroll. Well back to the Peter Walsh story. The episode that I happened to catch that night was about a girl that has a hoarder amount of emotional clutter. I have a lot of that, i.e. college notes, old cards, pictures, tee shirts that I have been saying that I would be making in to a quilt mind you this is would not be something that would be simple, Mikey says with me it never is... it would probably be several hundred hours. So I am going to let go. I am making aprons with Melissa ans Alison this weekend so I will look for some scraps to maybe use on that and get rid of the rest. Then maybe I will have room for the loot that I got at Target the other day 90% off. That will be another post. And a few words on posting, I will not be doing daily posts, I do not know how often exactly I will be posting I want to make sure that the posts are quality and while I have a lot of projects planned for this year most of them are big daunting projects like strip, sand, repair, paint and reupholster all of the the dinning room chairs plus one.