Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pinterest Challenge Re-cap

Whenever my two weeks are up after the Pinterest Challenge I immediately want to start another one because I felt so productive and usually made such cute stuff. I would start again if I wasn't behind on housework and if I didn't have 4 neglected library books sitting on my shelf, not to mention my toenails desperately need painted. I did accomplish a lot of pins though (plus one major fail) so here goes the long recap.

I didn't take pictures of lots of the recipe results, partly because I do not have the artistic vision that some people have to make food look appetizing and partly because I forgot, but I did make these Reese's Blondies. For some reason the idea of blondies always sounds really good to me so I keep trying new ones and I always keep going back to the one from Mel's Kitchen that I love. I like my desserts rich (I have the love-handles to prove it) and these did not cut it. If you don't like your desserts very sweet then these will work for you but if you want a good cookie bar recipe that is better than any of the many blondies that I have tried then these are my favorites.

With the weather warming up I wanted a cool treat so I tried this chocolate mousse. It was indeed easy and tasty. Next time I will make it into a pie with cookie crust. Alex gave it two thumbs up!

 I tried out this fun outfit on a cool evening, I'm not very good at wearing belts with anything other than jeans so I was happy with the inspiration I got here.

So yeah, have I mentioned that I'm not really a photographer? Anyway I could probably go an entire month wearing stripes with what I have in my closet, I LOVE them though. this was my inspiration behind this outfit.
 Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

I love pumpkin bread and I love Amish friendship bread (the real stuff not the recipe I've found that says it is Amish friendship bread without the start because that wasn't even close). I don't like having to keep the start going for weeks and weeks, but I wanted a similar type yummy bread to eat so I tried this Cinnamon Roll pound cake. The author of the blog praised this cake saying she almost forgot she wasn't eating a real cinnamon roll. Yeah I had no delusions that I was eating a cinnamon roll but this was a yummy bread (especially since I added nuts, because most members of my family will tell you that cinnamon rolls have to have nuts). The recipe makes two loaves which was way too much for how rich the cake was though so make sure you have lots of people to share it with.

I tried out this Pistachio Chicken Spinach Salad. I only give it three stars because I didn't love the dressing. Other than that I think it was a good blend of sweet fruit and salty pistachios. I'm excited to experiment more as the weather warms up and I hopefully start relying on summer salads.
I made these Chicken Egg Rolls to go along with some Panda one night. I don't do well with garlic and onions so I omitted them from the recipe, which I do with a lot of recipes and usually like the results. That was not the case with these, they turned out way too bland. Andrew didn't like them  either, (he did lie first and say he liked them though, only later admitting that they weren't very good). We used lots of sweet and sour sauce to help them out a bit. I've heard that they are better the next day, but I wasn't willing to give them another shot. Next time I think I will make them with shredded honey sesame chicken instead to boost up the flavor.

This Potato Ham Chowder was wonderful and a perfect way to use up leftover Easter ham. It is not the same as the soup I made during the last challenge (I must really like potato soups). With this one I wanted more of a corn chowder and this recipe made me so happy, I think it has moved into the favorite position.


I have actually made this yummy treat before but even though I love chocolate with pretzels the pretzel crust didn't really do it for me. So I tried it again this last week as just fudge topped brownies. Just so you know when the recipe says to bake until just undercooked, that means that the brownies should not be soupy in the middle still. Otherwise when you over-zealously dump the fudge mixture right in the middle of the soupy brownies then it will sink and you will end up with fudge marbled brownies rather than the fudge topped concept that you were originally going for. Just in case you were wondering, you know in case that happened to anyone. Anyway I don't know if I can go back to brownies any other way because these are so so so yummy!
Trade out the ugly plastic bottles for the pretty olive oil bottles - Hobby Lobby!
I live in an apartment with an tiny tiny kitchen, I've tried to keep my dish soap under the sink but I keep lots of other stuff under there too and I was always knocking it out when grabbing things. I now have a pretty bottle to keep on the back of the sink and it makes me happy.

The Monday prior to Easter I went looking for a fun FHE lesson that would teach about our savior. At this website I found a fun jelly bean color description to go along with the treat.
I have been meaning to make this for a long time and the challenge gave me the motivation to get it done. I really like how it turned out (I know the pic is bad, trust me it looks better in real life). I got the idea here and it turned out to be super easy.
For my sweet little girl's Easter present I used this tutorial to make lace flowers for her hair. I loved how easy they were and some turned out really cute. I was disappointed in the lace selection at the stores I tried and of course I had waited until the last minute so I had to go with what I could find. I will definitely make more if I ever find more lace that I like.

This was my favorite project. I LOVE how it turned out. The wreath did take me an entire week to make, mainly because I did not study the tutorial very well and ended up with a wreath that was way bigger than it had to be (it was all they had at Wal-Mart). Anyway, I kept having to cut more fabric squares to cover the thing. I was so excited by this project because all I had to buy was the wreath and the wire. I used t-shirts and extra knit that I inherited from my mom so this super cute wreath was also really inexpensive. It did take me almost an entire season of Castle to make, and I thought my thumb might fall off from all the pinning, but I love how it turned out!

So that is how my two weeks went, I had so much fun and I'm already planning more pins that I can turn into realities.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pinterest Challenge #3

So even though I am disappointed that some people (Stacy!!) won't do this with us, Lindsay and I have decided it is time for another Pinterest Challenge. I seriously love this challenge and I always feel so accomplished afterwards so I really think EVERYONE (all five of you who read my blog) should join in! The idea is to simply take two weeks and make all those hours spent pinning really count by actually accomplishing some of those pins. My goal is 7 or more. Try a few recipes or a new workout, make a few crafts or wear a fun outfit, read a book or take some pictures. This can be as easy or as hard as you want but I promise it will be fun so take the challenge!