Archive for February, 2013

Food: Haystacks

In honor of my upcoming trip home to NC, I decided to call on some of my fave childhood recipes for this week’s baking adventure. As I was digging through the cookbooks, I stumbled across an incredibly easy recipe (ONLY 3 ingredients) for haystacks. I couldn’t believe how much I used to love these and how, dare I say it again, easy these sweet treats are to make.

Fair warning, these are in no way healthy. But they are amazing, so eat in moderation. Or eat all you want and then get to the gym stat!

All you need to get started is:

  • 2 bags of butterscotch morsels
  • 1 can of La Choy chow mein noodles
  • 1/2 can of cashews (mine were lightly salted)
  • Wax paper

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I’m sure you can figure out how to make them based on those 3 ingredients but in case it’s not obvious, here goes:

  1. Roughly chop your cashews into pieces.
  2. Melt your butterscotch morsels in the microwave.
  3. Add your chow mein noodles.
  4. Add your cashews.
  5. Stir, stir, stir.
  6. Mix, mix, mix.
  7. Dollop your haystacks onto wax paper and allow to cool.
  8. Best stored in the fridge after they are cool.

The only trick to haystacks is getting all your goodies in before the butterscotch hardens again. If that happens, put it in the microwave for a hot (er, warm) second and then continue to stir, stir, stir. And mix, mix, mix.

After they’ve cooled – enjoy! On a day like today, I can’t wait to get home and eat at least 3 of these. No judgment, please.

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DIY: T-shirt necklace

I have a lot of craft items in my apartment just waiting to be crafted so this month, I decided I would refrain (as much as possible) from buying new craft things until I knocked out a lot of the freebies I had around the place. This is particularly true for my fabric collection that’s slowly growing arms and legs under my bed. However, that’s neither here nor there as this DIY was not only completely free, but it also helped me clean up a bit of clutter too!

As I was de-cluttering it up a few weeks back, I decided that I didn’t need all my sorority girl tees from college anymore. I’ve slowly been weeding them out over the past 5 years and this time I got it down to just 1 or 2, mostly to keep for the winter months since they are long sleeved. However, I did keep one brightly colored tee for a recycled craft I found many months ago from here. See how I upcycled an old tee below:

To get started, you’ll need:

  • t-shirt of choice
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • chalk to mark your lines
  • embroidery thread

1. First lay your tee out flat removing all the bumps and lumps, especially on the bottom layer.

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2. Use your ruler to mark lines. About 3/4 of an inch between each line.

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3. After you have enough, start cutting. Cut off the hem and discard.

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4. After you’ve finished cutting, take the strips of tee and pull at each end so they curl (as shown on the right in the pic below).

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5. As you pull & curl, lay them down in to a pile so all the ends are together. The original project says you can just secure them together and go from there, but my pulled tee turned out to be fairly large/long. I grabbed some embroidery thread in the same color and secured both ends.

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6. I matched those ends together making sure it laid nicely as a necklace and wrapped it with an extra piece of the tee to give it a more finished look. Look in the mirror to see the back of the necklace.

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And voila, an upcycled t-shirt necklace.

Usually, I never really review a DIY as it’s sort of a given that I love it if I’m posting about it. However, I feel compelled to say I was little underwhelmed by the final product here, but decided to post about it after the 150+ reblogs and comments that happened over on my Tumblr. It is nice and I’ll probably keep it for a few years and most likely wear it as a scarf as opposed to a necklace, but I don’t see it staying in my DIY collection forever. There’s just something about it that’s not totally my style. In the end it cost me zilch to craft, so if I throw it away then no big deal. At least I got my creative juices flowing for $0.

Weekend review: February’s adventure

This past weekend, BF and I crossed Luray Caverns off my DC bucket list and completed February’s adventure. I wasn’t sure if the weather would cooperate, but as it turned out, Sunday was a perfect day for an adventure.

Luray Caverns are located in Luray, VA (handy!) and are about 1.5 hours outside of DC. The drive is fairly easy and so worth it for a day-trip. BF and I arrived just as a tour was heading down into the caverns – talk about perfect timing.

The tour itself is about an hour long and you get to walk for over a mile through the caverns – which was a lot more than I anticipated. I’ve never really been down in caverns before, so I was all ooh’s and ahh’s while BF looked on in amusement.

And now for a best of the best photo tour of Luray Caverns, as seen from my iPhone. Apologies for the lack of brightness in some of the photos.

BF at the start of the tour. All smiles for stalagmites!

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First stop, Dream Lake. What you’re looking at are stalactites perfectly mirrored in the shallow water below. Definitely an oooOOoooh moment.

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BF and I doing a sneaky self-portrait while the tour guide was probably telling us something interesting.

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And here is the Giant Redwood, the largest column in the caverns taking at least 7 million years to form.

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Overheard on the tour at this point: “Is the Earth even 7 million years old?” *facepalm*

And one of the last stops on the tour, The Wishing Well. Every January, the water is drained from the well and all the coins are donated to various charities. Of course, we both made a wish. There’s my coin – see it?

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After we left the caverns, I bought a magnet to commemorate the adventure (as I do) and then we checked out the rest of the area. Our tickets to the caverns also gave us access to 2 museums, but neither of us had much interest so we popped down to check out the garden maze. I’m a sucker for garden mazes, so we spent the next 45 minutes running around trying to get all the goals they had hidden inside.

Here’s the view from the top of a bridge inside the maze. See, didn’t I say it was a perfect day for an adventure?

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After the maze, we grabbed a snack from the cafe and then headed back home. All in all, a fantastic day for a great adventure. Roll on March!

Interwebs: Friday advice

This week, I’ve spent a lot of time telling myself to not be my own enemy. To not fear new challenges, especially those involved in strengthening my knee. In fact, on Tuesday I hit a wall at PT and walked away feeling awful. That night, I wrote in my happiness journal that the only way I will see change is to keep pushing myself beyond what I know I can already do.

Then, today, I saw this awesome advice from Tim Gunn* and I knew the interwebs was trying to tell me something:

timgunn

Sometimes you just need a reminder to never let your fear decide your fate!

*Shout out to Dora for her always insightful posts

Weekend review: Girls weekend

This past weekend, I went on a mini road trip for a night away with a few girl friends. I’ve known these friends for a few years, but in some instances I feel like I’m only getting to know them. All in all, it was a great road trip filled with stories, laughter, and of course a few embarrassing photos (though, not this one, this one is legit).

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While I could give a play by play of the silliness that ensued, I think the most important part of the weekend were the lessons learned. Or rather, the commandments defined, as learned from The Happiness Project.

As you should know by now, every day is a day of reflection. Of learning. Of always moving towards my goals. This weekend, I think I moved closer to happiness by coming up with a few of my own commandments:

  1. Be thankful for all the good in your life.
  2. It’s okay to be me and no one else.
  3. There is no rush. Time is precious, but live in the now & stop wishing for tomorrow.

I haven’t quite make it to 12 like Gretchen, but I love that these are my first commandments.

Life: Mumford & Sons

Last night, BF and I went to see Mumford & Sons at the Patriot Center. It was a bit of a trek with traffic and chunky snowfall, but as always, it was worth the effort. This was our second time seeing them together (my 3rd overall) and it seems that Mumford always brings the weather as last time it poured down at an outdoor pavilion. Luckily, that just turned into a big dance party in the rain.

I was extra excited for this gig as I snagged floor tickets from a pre-pre-sale. I don’t know how I stumbled on to it, but I was glad I did as we were up close and personal – much like the 1st time I saw them play at 9:30 club nearly 4 years ago. They are without a doubt serious performers and definitely put on a good show.

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Of course, they didn’t play my fave ‘Awake my soul’. I suppose I can forgive them since they did play ‘Lover of the light’ where front-man Marcus Mumford went nuts on the drum kit. If you haven’t heard this one yet, it’s off their not-so-new-anymore album. Sit back and have a listen. You’re welcome. Happy Thursday!

Adventure: April’s sneak peek

In January, I took a road trip to the Cliffs of Moher & Galway. This month, I have plans to visit Luray Caverns. March’s adventure is still up in the air; I’m not too worried as I’m sure something will find me. But April’s adventure has been carefully planned and calculated.

To help ring in my 29th year, BF and I will hop on a plane and head down to…wait for it…

ORLANDO!

Everyone knows what’s in Orlando and that’s exactly why we’re going there. BF and I are both Harry Potter fans and we’ve always joked about going to Harry Potter World, but in April we won’t be joking. Plus, BF has never been to Walt Disney World and I haven’t been since 1997.

Maybe it sounds a little silly, but the way I look at it… you’re only as old as you feel. I mean let’s be honest, we did dress up in golf gear last year and traipse around Annapolis. This won’t be any sillier than that. 🙂

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