Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pinning with Purpose | Week 6

I'm a bit frustrated right now because my computer won't open PhotoShop so I had to use an online program I'm less familiar with to prepare the photos for this post. I'm hoping the hubby can find a remedy for this issue. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!! On the bright side, it's time for another edition of Pinning with Purpose.

Each week, I pick out a few pins from my Pinterest boards and try to recreate them or use them for inspiration. And, I challenge you to do the same. Find a pin that gets your creative juices going; be it a recipe, style inspiration, or organizational tip and run with it. I encourage you to share your results on your blog and then link it up here.

Before we get into my own pins and results, let me thank the following ladies for linking up this past week.
Thank you so much for joining in the fun!

Over this week, I worked on the following: (Please make sure you pin from the ORIGINAL source and not from here.)
Quiche with hashbrown crust from Joyful Homemaking off my Breakfast Board
I used these three necklaces from my Jewelry Board as inspiration for my own assemblage piece:
Mementos Narrative Necklace from Something Sublime
Healing Amulet Necklace from MaggieZees Etsy Shop
Chinese Bronze Repro Coin Amulet Necklace also from Maggie Zee
Lastly, I wanted to make an alternative craft supply
Stamps from styrofoam from Alisa Burke off my Good Ideas Board.

Here's how each of these turned out for me.

The Quiche with Hashbrown Crust came together pretty easily. I was able to get all the other ingredients together (including cooking the bacon) while the oven pre-heated and the hashbrown crust cooked.
It was really good too! I might cook the crust just a little bit longer next time as it wasn't as crispy as I would have liked, but I'm pretty sure that's my oven's fault and not the recipe. It was a perfect breakfast for the kickoff to the first weekend of college football.

I've loved the dangly assemblage-style necklaces for a while and have quite a few pinned. It was about time I tackled making a similar one myself. First, I studied the inspirations I had from both Something Sublime and MaggieZee's blog and Etsy Shop. After than, I started by pillaging my stash for a ring-like base.
Once I chose a ring base, I made the pendant from a variety of charms, beads, and other materials.
Last came the chain of the necklace using beads, wire, and a bit of chain.
While inspired by MaggieZee and Deryn, I took my own spin on the style and came up with something I'm really happy with. It's both romantic and funky, just like me.

For my last trick, I made stamps on Styrofoam. I drew (poorly) shapes onto some bits of Styrofoam from a take-out container.
I simply painted on some acrylic paints and tested them on scrap paper.
You want to use a nice, even layer of paint and apply even pressure over the whole styrofoam piece if you want a crisp image. This method is perfect for transferring an image in a quick and easy manner. I don't even care if it's a bit sloppy.

Next week is a little crazy, so I'm only going to aim for two pins.
I'd love for you to link up what you've made from your Pinterest board inspirations also!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thrifty Scores at Mobile Antique Stores

Though I'm still battling some sinus/allergy issues, I'm trying not to let that keep me down. Each week I visit with my nieces and mom across the bay in Mobile. I just can't disappoint them or deprive myself of their company. Since I was headed that way, I decided to leave a little early to hit up a couple of my favorite antique stores. I didn't need much more motivation to get out and about, but that didn't hurt.

I started with Cotton City Antiques and lucked up with these finds.
This baggie of broken and lost pairs jewelry had my name written all over it.
Most of these vintage clip-on earrings will be going to a friend who has a craft project in mind.
I couldn't pass on the worn little medicine tin, chandelier crystal, or collection of metal bangles. I know I can come up with something for each of them.
With little time to spare before they closed, I raced over to Antiques at the Loop. Though I was rushing through the booths (especially when youngest niece called to see if I was on my way), I scored a few treasures there too.
I had passed on a nice collection of buttons at Cotton City (because my button collection is already so large), but I couldn't resist a baggie of rhinestone buttons at Antiques at the Loop. Shiny, sparkly!
And, some metal and hardware bits caught my eye as well.
I had a great visit with the family to boot. So despite the ickiness in my head, I'm glad I pushed myself to get out of the house.

I recently found a few linky parties that also share their thrifty finds so I'll be linking up to them this week. I can't wait to see some of the other thrifty scores.
Junkin Joe at The Cottage Market
Vintage Inspiration Party at My Salvaged Treasures
Ivy and Elephants
Thriftasaurus at Sir Thrift-A-Lot
Thrifter Share at Thrifter|Maker|Fixer|Farm
Thrifter Things Friday at Melissa's Antiques
Nifty Thrifty Link Up at ALivingSpace


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Camping in Port St. Joe | Part 2 (Eating Out and About)

I promised more than one post on our camping adventure to Port St. Joe. While there's not much more to say about the park (it was lovely), I haven't mentioned anything about the food. The majority of our meals were enjoyed at camp. We grilled beer brats and steaks, made paninis and pancakes on our new Cuisinart Griddler, and ate cereal for an easy breakfast.

We explored the area some with a couple trips outside the state park. Actually, before we even made it to the park, our friends (who had stayed on Cape San Blas before) pulled over on the side of the road. We followed suit. Come to find out, they stopped to pick up doughnuts from Weber's Little Donut Shop.
Image via A Tropical Breeze - Cape San Blas
I was able to get the last half dozen glazed they had that afternoon and was not disappointed. The donuts were perfect for a little something sweet without going overboard on the sugar.

On our next venture out, Pat and I decided to explore downtown Port St. Joe. We found a couple of antique stores to browse though on Reid Avenue but weren't really in a buying mood. However, we were stopped in our tracks when we stumbled onto this set of doors.

They belong to the Historic Port Theatre which opened in 1938. It didn't look like the building is currently in use, but we sure thought it was cool.

After walking a good length of Reid Ave. and poking around, we were hot and hungry. Pepper's Mexican Grill was right there to give us some relief. Granted, it was a fairly standard Mexican restaurant, but the menu was extensive, the food good, and the margaritas tasty. We had no complaints at all.

That evening, still a little tired from our exploring, we ventured back out for dinner. At Triple Tails Restaurant Pat and I both ordered beers from Apalachicola's Oyster City Brewing Company and some seafood. He got the grilled Mahi Mahi and fries while I opted for grilled shrimp and a side of cheese grits.

Both the meals and the beers were definitely good, but I have to admit that the star of the show was the cheese grits. Pat (who isn't a huge fan of cheese grits) claimed that if all cheese grits tasted like those, he would order them all the time. I'd say that's a winning recommendation!
Oh, and we ordered a slice of their homemade key lime pie. It wasn't too shabby either. There wasn't a crumb left.

The next morning, we awoke to darkened skies and impending rain. Not sure how long we had until storms blew through, we packed up quickly and headed out without breakfast. The Forgotten Coast is a lovely area, but it didn't seem to be bursting with breakfast joints. As such, we drove on to the West of Panama City to the Donut Hole in Inlet Beach.
Pat and I have been to the one in Destin before and knew that it was exactly what we wanted. There was a wait to be seated and we were starving. So, I didn't get a picture of our omelets. I can tell you they were delicious and quickly consumed.
We even got some donuts for the road on our way out. It was a perfect choice and a perfect way to end our trip.

If you ever head along The Forgotten Coast, make sure you stop for more than the scenery. We definitely weren't disappointed with any part of our trip to the area.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Plentiful Excitement | Menu Plan & Recipe Review

Y'ALL!! Football season starts THIS WEEK! The first SEC game is on Thursday with the Alabama game on Saturday. I cannot wait. Of course there will be other games on too that I might even watch. For now I'm keeping occupied with other tasks, my menu for one.

Breakfasts: Cereal, Smoothies, Muffins, PB toast with fruit, Quiche with hashbrown crust, French toast

Lunches: PB&J, Pizza paninis, Tuna noodles, Soup w/grilled cheese, Chicken fingers w/sweet potato fries, Creamy garlic pasta w/salad

Dinners:
Leftovers
Veggie Tacos w/corn
Pork Chops with creamy mushrooms and dill w/broccoli & mashed potatoes

___________________________________________

Recipe Review

Veggie and tofu stir fry: I've made this before and enjoyed it. As before, I couldn't find the baby bok choy, so I just increased the amount of the other veggies. It was yummy.

Barbequed tofu sandwiches (above): This was an easy recipe. I recommend that you plan ahead as it takes about 30 minutes to press to tofu and then 30 minutes to marinate it. After that, it cooks quickly. We definitely enjoyed it, but I thought it would be better with the bread toasted for a crunch. However, Pat thought that just a regular bun would have been better than the bakery wheat buns. Either way, we'll be making them again.

I not only have an exciting college football season to look forward to, but a yummy menu as well. What are you looking forward to this week?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pinning with Purpose | Week 5

Let me start this week's Pinning with Purpose by thanking Jenna from the Painted Apron for linking up her yummy dip and Rosanita at Bairozan's Blog for linking up her lovely bracelets last week. Thank you ladies for playing along!

Pinning with Purpose is an opportunity for each of us to use some of those Pinterest pins we've been hoarding. Whether you hoard recipes, fashion inspiration, or DIYs; this is your opportunity to relieve yourself of the guilt of leaving those pins sitting on your boards unused. I encourage you to take a look at what  you have pinned and use this week to be inspired by what's there.

Here's what I worked on this week (PLEASE remember to go to the original source if you'd also like to pin these projects):
Pencil eraser stamp from Creature Comforts blog off my Just Do It. . .Yourself Board
No bake energy bites from The Recipe Critic off my FOOD | Munchies Board
Braided Bead Jewelry from Live in Art off my Jewelry Tutorials Blog

And here are my results!

All of my projects this week were fairly quick and easy ones. The Pencil Eraser Stamp was probably the easiest.
And I put it to use right away.
I probably could have been more precise with my cutting, but it wasn't so bad for a first attempt. 

Next up were the No-Bake Energy Bites. These consisted of ingredients I already had on hand.
The worst part was rolling them into balls as they were quite sticky and messy, and I chose to use my hands to do it. After a few of them, I began to get over the ickiness of it.
And, they are little balls of awesome. The hubs and I both enjoyed them immensely. They are sweet without being too sweet and are the perfect little snack.

Finally, I started on the Braided Bead Jewelry. With more items I had on hand, some waxed linen cord and my 'bead soup' of smaller beads, I went through this tutorial.
I made a mixed-color bracelet and wore it the whole rest of the day.
It was quite comfortable and so easy. I might just have to make a few more.

I'm looking forward to the week ahead and working on these Pinspirations:
 Now, I challenge you to explore your boards, get inspired, and share!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bead Table Wednesday | Upcycling

Though Bead Table Wednesday originator, Heather of HumbleBeads, is busily prepping for BeadFest I'm simply dreaming that I was jetting away to BeadFest myself. Instead of sulking, I'm keeping myself busy in my own studio. Take a peek at what's on my desk at the moment.
You may recall those rings in the center. They're off the file folder dividers I found when we bought the desk we thrifted and upcycled back in October. I'm finally ready to do something with at least some of them.
As you can see, I'm starting by flattening them out. Next, I want to add some color.

However, I'm not sure what medium I want to use to color the metal so I'm just going to play. (L-R: Vintaj Patina in Verdigris, Gilder's Paste in Patina, and Iced Enamels Medium and enamel powder in Turquoise Relique).

This should be fun! Though Heather's not doing the link-up today, I'd still love to know what's on your Table too. Let me know in the comments.
Bead Table Wednesday is the brain child of Heather Powers of HumbleBeads who encourages you to show off what's on your creative desk each week.

I'm also linking up to Thoughtful Thursday on Cozinest and Show and Share on Coastal Charm.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Finiding Inspiration at The Fairhope Public Library

Monthly, I attend a meeting of the Southern Bloggers Jubilee. This is a group of bloggers who meet in the pursuit of sharing information, learning from one another, and promoting each other and our community. This month we met at one of my favorite places, the Fairhope Public Library.
A view from the second story into the main area of the Fairhope Public Linrary
Following our meeting, we got a chance to meet Library Director, Tamara Dean, who gave us a tour and lots of information about our library.
Most of the members present at August's meeting with Tamara

As our group was led on the tour, we each were pulled to our areas of interest. While I found that intriguing within itself, I got pulled in my own direction: all the lovely inspiration packed into one place.

First, and most obviously there are the books. The library has a wide array of art, craft, and beading books for all ages. Best thing, they're free. . .if you return them on time.
I found the top two in the non-fiction adult area and the bottom two in the kids non-fiction.

Secondly, cozy nooks are to be found throughout the library with an abundance of light. These nooks are perfect for a quiet place (shhhhhh!) to daydream designs, flip through one of those inspiring books, and/or sketch.
These are only two of such areas in the Fairhope Library

Third, the Library (Fairhope's most especially) is packed full of art and displays and exhibits that absolutely get creative juices flowing.
I love the color combos in the painting in the upper left. The other pieces are all made out of decoupaged paper and make me sigh with relief that librarians don't seem to mind art made from old book pages (much). Whew!

In addition to all that inspiration, the Fairhope Library offers a variety of resources that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home if you're one that doesn't need to venture far to find inspiration.
  • CamilliaNet - downloadable books for your e-reader
  • Alabama Virtual Library - for reference materials
  • One Click Digital - audio books
  • Zinio - digital magazines
  • Mango Languages - a language learning tool
  • And a variety of other resources 

It's amazing what all you can get out of your local library. When was the last time you paid yours a visit? I guarantee you'll be inspired.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Menu Plan and Recipe Review

I'm going to make this as short and sweet as possible. Accomplishing much of what's on my to do list today is an attainable goal. . .right? My timer's going, and I'm desperately trying to stay focused (with very poor success). So let's get to the menu for the week before I get distracted again.

Breakfasts: Smoothies, Cereal, PB Toast w/fruit, Omelets, Muffins

Lunches: Bean burritos, PB&J, Paninis, Soup w/grilled cheese, Tuna noodles, Leftovers, Cheese quesidillas

Dinners:
Chili w/rice
Grilled chicken and veggie skewers w/sweet potatoes

_____________________________________

Recipe Review

No Roux Stovetop Mac-n-cheese: This recipe was easy enough. However, I've gotten to the point with homemade mac-n-cheese that I don't often even bother with a recipe and it comes out wonderfully. I definitely recommend this recipe for those still honing their cheesy mac skills, but I probably won't use this recipe again. (My homemade, top-of-my-head versions are better. . . it's probably the butter.)

Pad Thai Soup: This soup has become a staple in our house. It's really easy and so full of flavor. I'll definitely be making it again.

Even with those yummy recipes, I think the best meal of the week was probably this one from last night.
Spring Mix salad with homemade Dijon Vinaigrette, Ham Steak, 'Baked' Potato, Southern Style Field Peas and Snaps

This meal really took very little time (salad was boxed, dressing was pre-made, potatoes were pierced and microwaved, and beans and ham just had to be warmed) and there was hardly anything leftover. This just reminds me that not all meals have to be painstakingly thought-out and prepared. Sometimes the basics are best. That's why we've got chili, a household favorite, planned for this week.

Keep this in mind as you plan your week also. What are some of your simple, basic family-favorite meals?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pinning with Purpose | Week 4

It's the end of another long week. I hope yours has been better than mine. Despite illness, I was able to get to the Pins I picked out two weeks ago, dust them off, and actually use them. I apologize for last week's lull.

As always, I encourage you to play along: weed through your own Pinterest boards; find a recipe, a tutorial, or some other source of inspiration that you've been saving for just the right moment and make THIS the moment.

Here are the pins I worked on this week: (If you also want to pin these, please go to the original source.)
All Natural Strawberry Ice Cream Bars from Happiness is Homemade off my Healty-er Eats board
Homemade Laundry Soap from Natural and Thrifty from my Good Ideas board
Button Bobby Pins from Christina Homemaker off my Just Do It . . .Yourself board

Here are my results:

The strawberry ice cream bars were super easy; just dump, blend, pour, and freeze. In addition, they were super tasty.
I will say that you have to like the taste of coconut as it is strong, but I don't mind that at all. Yum!


I have made the homemade laundry soap previously, but I liked it so much I made it again. It really only takes three store-bought ingredients and lots of water.
With just the two of us, it does a good enough job cleaning our clothes and seemed to last forever (8+ months). You also might want to know that once the mixture sets it's kinda gel-like and gloopy.
I recommend putting in in an old detergent bottle and shaking it before each use to break up some of the gel. This hasn't been an issue for me at all as the low cost and long life of it  totally outweighs having to shake it before each use.


The Button Bobby Pins are just too cute. It was a perfect way for me to use up some of my button supply, and who doesn't have some extra bobby pins stashed away?
I was skeptical about the use of the needle, thread, and glue to make these accessories as wire would have been a more natural choice for me. However, I found a way to make it work and feel really good about it over the wire.
Please know that the shank buttons were a booger to steady and get to stay, those took quite a bit more time than the holed buttons. However, they did work and I like them all!
I even put one in my hair!

I'm so glad to have gotten to those pins on my board. Here are the ones I'm looking forward to this coming week:
I do hope you take this opportunity to be inspired by what you have saved on Pinterest, share your results on your blog, and link up here. You are welcome to use the Pinning with purpose image at the top of the page or this one (below) for your reveal if you'd like. I'll work on creating actual code buttons later. Sorry about that.

Thanks for taking a peek and/or playing along.