Monday, September 30, 2013

Pipe Shelving Project

 

I am so excited about this I could burst! I've been seeing pictures of this floating around the internet, and have been dying to build one myself. We desperately needed a real entertainment center. We have been using a coffee table that my grandfather built years ago (which I can't stand to part with) and hand-me-down trunk as a substitute for way too long. We finally mounted our ridiculously large tv on the wall, so what better time than now?



We measured out how high and roughly how wide we wanted our creation to be, decided how many shelves we wanted, found where our studs were, figured out where our support would need to be, and sketched out a crude rendition of our new entertainment center. Our drawing had exactly how many of each size pipe we would need, flanges, tees, and elbow joints. So, with our sketch, measurements, and tape measure in hand, we went to the hardware store and made a bee line for plumbing. We literally assembled one of the vertical supports right there in the store, to make sure that it fit our measurements and would not be too tall. It came out perfect. We chose our wooden planks for the shelves, deciding on the inexpensive treated wood, as well as a stain for them, and headed home.

We started by soaking the pipes in soapy water, and wiping them down with a dry rag to remove the greasy film from the exterior. My husband took that job, while I got down to staining the planks. All relatively easy.




Next, we began assembling our vertical supports. When we finished, we marked off our studs where the flanges would screw into the wall. For the bottom, we read in a blog that we were using as a guide, that they had used pieces of rubber under the feet to keep them from damaging the hardwood floors, and decided to do the same.


Once our two vertical supports were up, we brought in the planks to see how they would fit. We originally only had two supports, but the distance between our studs set them far apart. We added the middle supports after, to compensate for the distance and sag that the weight would cause. Overall it was a relatively simple project, although time consuming. We did have to make a few trips back and forth to the store, but with a well developed plan and good measurements we were fairly well prepared. All in, we spent around $300. The end result is exactly what we had hoped for, and just can't stop grinning when I look at it! My poor husband has to deal with me and my crazy ideas, but they usually turn out pretty great, so he can't be too upset. If you decide to do this, know that you have to put quite a few holes in the wall, and will have to fill them in if you decide to take it down.
 



My next goal is to make all of the cords disappear! We'll see how long that takes!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Autumn Breeze Cocktail




I recently bought a bottle of Mount Gay Barbados Rum, and have been dying to come up with a fun fall cocktail recipe to use it in. It's still pretty warm here in Texas, so it had to be light and refreshing with a hint of fall spice. I decided apple and ginger would be the perfect compliments to this great rum, and boy are they! It's a bit of a twist on a Dark & Stormy. Here's the recipe...


AUTUMN BREEZE

2oz Barbados Rum (can substitute Dark or Spiced)
1oz Ginger Liquer
2oz Apple juice
Ginger Ale
Lemon 

Build rum, ginger liquer and apple juice in highball glass. Top with ginger ale and a squeeze of lemon. Gently stir to mix ingredients and enjoy!





Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Fashion


Growing up in Texas, seasons are a bit of a novel idea. So, when cooler weather finally makes it's this far south, I revel in the chance to pull out my sweaters, jackets, boots, hats, scarves, and all things glittery. I love the layering and deeply rich colors and textures of fall fashion. You can bet I've already started thinking about new pieces that I need to incorporate into my wardrobe this season. I've pulled some of my favorite looks from my Cool Girl Style board on Pinterest. Follow me to see more!


Platforms are a staple in my wardrobe, and these beauties need to find their way into it.


This is the perfect blend of chic and cool. 


The distressed leather of this jacket makes it beyond amazing.


The bits of leather make these skinnies biker chic.


Pajamas and boots never looked cooler.


This is too much to even handle. Love it.

I would totally rock this. No, really.

A girl can never have too many shoes. Especially platforms.



Geek chic. You don't know whether she's going to do her homework or hop on her Harley.


Tough girl and glam combined gets me every time.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Things I Love From Etsy : Fabulous Fall

I love this time of the year. There's a crispness in the air, you start pulling out sweaters and layering, eating  and drinking pumpkin spiced everything, and starting to decorating for autumn. Saturday began the Summer to Fall transition in my house. Bright colors have been traded for deep reds, burnt oranges, moody purples, and gorgeous golds. I'd like a few new and unique pieces to mix in, and these fantastic finds from Etsy fit the bill.





{Charlotte's Art Shop}


{Jolie Marche}


{Rachelle Levingston}


{A Twist of Nature}


{Samie Sam}

{Sushi Pot}


{Skullery}


{Proof of Reality}


{Vintage Archeology}


{Cyber Moon}




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Red Hot Apple Cupcakes



When we decided to throw a little beginning of Fall BBQ, I knew I had to make some cupcakes. Anyone who knows me, knows that I always bake something if I have guests over. I wanted to make a Fall inspired cupcake, and asked my husband what made him think of this time of year. He said that when he was a boy, his Grandmother used to cut apples into slices, melt down Red Hot candies, and dip the apple slices into the spicy syrup. Brilliant! I had my inspiration. Here's how I made them...





CUPCAKE

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large baking apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (about 1 cup) 
 ***
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.

Using a mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and vanilla extract, beating until smooth.

Combine the flour, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add half the flour mixture to the creamed butter, then add the sour cream, and then the rest of the flour. Beat until well combined, taking care not to over mix. Gently fold in the chopped apples.

Divide batter between prepared muffin tins, filling them 1/2 way full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when pressed gently, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.



(Adapted from Apple Cupcakes from Food Network)


APPLE FILLING

1 large baking apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (about 1 cup) 
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Juice from 1 lemon

***

Place diced apples in a medium sauce pan. Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon. Add lemon juice and cook over medium heat until apples become soft and a juices become syrupy.

Use a corer to scoop out centers of prepare cupcakes. Spoon a small amount of filling into each cupcake.



RED HOT BUTTERCREAM

1 box of Red Hot candies
1cup water
1 cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
***
In a medium sauce pan, add box of Red Hot candies and cup of water. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until candies dissolve and turn into a syrup. Set aside and let cool.
 Using a mixer, beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add sifted confectioner's sugar and stir on low until incorporated. Add cooled Red Hot syrup and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides once or twice.
If a thinner frosting is desired, add additional heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
To thicken, add more powdered sugar.

Use piping bag to decoratively ice each prepared cupcake.
 


I hope you love these!

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Day of Fall BBQ



I'm getting back on the horse, after a brief absence. I've totally neglected my poor blog while working my behind off making party supplies for my Etsy shop. In any case, I'm back and hoping to do a better job of bringing more cute and fun things to inspire you!

Yesterday was the first official day of Fall, and, as we all know, it is football season. So, what better excuse to throw a fall themed barbeque? Here's a look at the easy decorations I threw together for our little shindig.

Check in again later this week to get the recipe for the Red Hot Apple cupcakes I made!