I'm not an expert at anything, in fact I'm a wannabe at everything: DIYer, crafter, cook, baker, fashionista & beauty guru extraordinaire. And so far I ain't bad BUT am still learning. Like I have lots of learning ahead of me. My blog is a little bit of this and that in my wannabe adventures; oh and random ramblings on family life, motherhood, and my kiddos. Y se habla español.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Halloween & Fall Mantel


First, I’d like to say that my heart goes out to everyone in the east coast and I really do hope everyone will be okay in the end.  The whole nation has your back!
 
I thought I would share my Halloween/Fall mantel with you all.  Of course after today it will be a Thanksgiving/Fall mantel  and hopefully I’ll be able to add some turkey-type touches to it.  That’s if all the stores have not rid of their autumn related merchandise (a pet peeve of mine.)  I was inspired to do this mantel after pinning several pumpkin and witch ideas on my Fun Halloween Ideas board.  On Pinterest of course.  I realized just this Halloween that I have an attraction to pumpkins and witch hats over other Halloween decorations.  So instead of having it spread throughout my house, I decided to put it all together on my mantel and fireplace. 

Pink Texas Chick

I really do love pumpkins and witch hats and after putting this together I wish I had more.  Clearance sales here I come!  Most of these items were purchased over the years either on sale (a good sale) or on clearance.  It’s my M.O.    I did, however, buy a couple of bags of decorative squash.  After reading a short article on pumpkins, squash, and gourds in the October issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine (p. 105); I was not only educated but inspired to use these as part of the fireplace décor.  It was fun to learn those tidbits from the article but so did my son and he is going to share that information at school in a “Show and Tell” type way.   Confession: I made him read the article but then he was intrigued and had the “oh that is kinda neat” reaction.  Yay me.
 
The witch pumpkin, boa and other pumpkins are all from Hobby Lobby. The black crow from Michael's and that witch hat is from my local grocery store. The hat was a $1 clearance score! 

Pink Texas Chick


This black lantern is from my friend's wedding.  I knew I would use it for something and it looks perfect with a mini pumpkin and squash.  The candle votive is from Hobby Lobby and the witch pumpkin from Kohl's.

Pink Texas Chick


See the pink witch hat?  I have some masking tape holding it down on the tile. And I used the black tulle to cover it up.  Thinking, always thinking I tell ya.  

Pink Texas Chick

See that ash in the fireplace?  Ignore it.  Hubby was told asked to clean it out and he has yet to do it.  Ahem.
Pink Texas Chick

So there ya have it.  My lil 'ol Halloween mantel.  Forgive the bit of blury-ness.  I have no fancy smanchy camera yet.  Anywho, I like the pumpkin and witch hat combination.  It suits me.  heehee.  Kidding.  Happy Halloween!

Oh and I'm sharing this post with Young House Love, Bower Power, the Ugly Duckling House and Our Fifth House.
 
 
 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

That's So Witchy {Halloween DIY}

Hola!  Halloween is around the corner and I was finally able to complete this project that I started (in my head) over three weeks ago.  A couple of months ago, some friends of mine were having a garage sale.  I decided to shop at their sale and just before leaving their house I spotted a plain, maroon vase.  My friend gladly gave it to me because she was ready to pack up what didn’t sell and dump it all at Goodwill.  My first thought was to spray paint it but what color and how would I use it?  After some thought I decided to use it as Halloween décor and since I have a few witch hats I then knew what I wanted to do with this vase.


Check it, yo.




And this is what it looked like before:

It is a Pottery Barn vase.  I spray painted a Pottery Barn vase.  Gasp!


Here’s the how-I-did-it down low.

My supplies were Krylon primer, Krylon Glitter Blast in Grape Glitz, and a medium grit sanding block. 



I used an old, clean sock to wipe any dust and debris from the vase, lightly sanded it and then sprayed a couple of coats of primer.



The next day I covered it with the Glitter Blast.  I’m not expert with paint so to the naked eye it is obvious this was not done by a pro.  No prob.  I’ll “fix it” before Halloween next year ‘cause I should definitely be better by then not.


In my best amateur skills, I sprayed 4-5 thin layer coats of the paint.  I waited a couple of minutes in between each coat so I wouldn’t glob it all up.  After 24 hours of dry time I set it up on my dining room table. 

I bought these two tablecloths from the dollar store.



The hat, pumpkin and black crow were bought on clearance from previous years. I also used a small piece of cardboard to help hold the hat steady.  You like?  



Voila.  There is my dining room table a la All Hallow’s Eve mode.  I don’t do table settings, just centerpieces.  Table settings feel too fancy smanchy for me and my laid back family.  I love looking at others though!  And although Halloween is just a few days away, anyone could easily put something like this together for their Halloween festivities come next Wednesday.  Until next time.  :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes {Recipe}


Hola!  As in “hi” not holla.  But hey why not? Holla!  Okay, okay today I wanted to share with you guys a cupcake recipe that I made last night for a bake sale today at my work.  We are raising money for charity and everyone was asked to bring home baked goods.  Being that we are in fall y’all, I went with a seasonal favorite: pumpkin!
 


I found this recipe on one of my favorite cooking websites, www.allrecipes.com and I followed the recipe to a T except for the frosting.  You can view the full recipe here or just see below.   

Cupcakes:

·         1 (18.25 ounce) pkg yellow cake mix with pudding

·         1 tsp. ground cinnamon

·         1 tsp. ground cloves

·         1 tsp. ground nutmeg

·         ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil

·         2 eggs

·         1 tsp. vanilla

·         1 15oz can pumpkin puree

Mix all of the dry ingredients with a spatula, and then add the wet ingredients mix well with an electric mixer.  Once almost incorporated add in the pumpkin and continue to mix until done. Spoon batter into cupcake pans (spray pan or insert liners) filling each cup 2/3 full.  For me, this recipe made exactly 18 cupcakes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (mine were done at 21 minutes).

Frosting:

I made my own version of cream cheese frosting which I’m sure is the same as many other people make it.  The recipe for this frosting varies so it’s basically to the baker’s liking, right?

·         8oz cream cheese, room temperature

·         1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

·         16oz confectioner’s sugar

·         1 tsp. vanilla extract

·         2-3 tsp. ground cinnamon (for these cupcakes)

With a mixer (on low) combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until almost well mixed.  Continue to mix as you slowly add in the cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar.  Once done I use a spatula to give it a few hand mixes to make sure it is all incorporated.  After that you are ready to frost your cupcakes!  I use my easy accent decorator from The Pampered Chef.  It makes the presentation a whole lot prettier.

Personally, I let at least one hour of cooling time pass before I frost or I do it the next morning. 
Voila!  You have some yummy cupcakes to pass out at your Halloween parties or Thanksgiving dinner.  Holla! :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Black Kitty Cat Treat Bags {Halloween}

Hi everyone!  Well my house is finally decked out in Fall and Halloween décor and the kids are getting in the spirit.  My goal was to have my decorations up by October 1st but eh October 15th was more do-able. 


Anywho, last year I made these Halloween treat bags and to my surprise (honestly) they were quite the hit on Pinterest among other sites.  A big ‘thank you’ is in order to everyone that pinned them and also to those other bloggers that let me share my project on their sites.  Gracias!  :)

I did not think I was going to make any bags this year because the creative side of my brain was low on juice and I had no new creations.  Then it hit me.  A black kitty cat!  My girl and I love Hello Kitty and my girl is fond of kittens because they lick your leg instead of bite it like a dog (according to her).  And since she definitely wants to pass out treats to her friends (okay I too want to pass out treats) I thought of a black cat creation with pink details.  Pink of course! 

Here is what I created:
Pink Texas Chick


Like my other craft projects it did not turn out the way I imagined it in my head but it will do and my baby girl loves it. 

Supplies:

·         1 pkg (16 count) small, black paper sacks
·         1 sheet pink glitter paper
·         1 sheet yellow, purple, & black card stock
·         1 small pkg pink/purple/fuchsia chenille pipe cleaners
·         Round & oval paper punch
·         Slot paper punch or 1 black marker
·         Adhesive dot runner, Elmer’s glue, and glue gun
·         Halloween stickers
Here is how I made this year’s treat bags.

Just like my previous Halloween treat bags and my Easter treat bags, I started out by folding the back of the bag.  I do this so I’ll know where to start decorating on the front of the bag and of course to be able to close each bag when it’s time to pass out the treats! :)



Ears & Whiskers: I cut thin strips of the glitter paper and then cut those down to the whisker size my baby girl and I liked.  I think these are kind of long about 2 1/2" but my girl liked those whiskers sticking out.  For the ears, I looked through my daughter’s school papers and looked for a triangle shape.  I found a kite on one of her coloring sheets so I cut it out and in half and that was my ear template. 
 

Eyes: I used my oval paper punch on yellow cardstock to make some eyes and the slot paper punch to make the black pupil.  Of course if you don’t have a slot punch then you can just use a black marker to draw on the pupil.
 

Nose:  I used a ¾” round paper punch on purple card stock for the nose.



After each piece for the face was cut I glued them on to the front of the bag using Elmer's glue for the ears and the strip dot adhesive for the eyes, nose and whiskers.



Tail: I used my finger to wrap the pipe cleaner around it and then I glued it down on the back of the back.  I didn’t want it to be completely curly so I straightened it out some to give it that funky cat look.  I used my glue gun to glue it down making a small U shape at the bottom of the tail.
 

Once it was all dry and set I put pretend goodies inside and closed it off with a sticker.  It’s not time to pass them out yet so of course it’s just a prop!  :)
 
pink texas chick


And just like all my other projects, I did not pay full price for the supplies.  Either they were on sale or I had coupons.  With the exception of the glue, card stock and paper punches, all materials were purchased at Michael’s. I used one 40% off coupon for one item and one 20% off coupon for total purchase (spent about $6 or so)



Now I just need to make a few more bags so they can be ready to go next weekend!  Happy Halloween, y’all!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Organized Linen Closet... Finally!


Hi peeps.  Are y’all done decorating for fall yet?  No? Oh wait that's just me.  My decor is going up little by little as the hubs grudgingly brings more Fall/Halloween totes down from the attic.  heehee.  

I do however want to show off (‘cause that’s what happens in blog land) my now neat and tidy linen closet thanks to this pin on my Organization board from Better Homes & Gardens that helped me get'er done.  Ta-da!



It is a small closet in my short and narrow hallway so taking full length photos of the before and after was a challenge.  But believe me you this thing was way too crowded and stuffing clean towels into each shelf was just plain dumb.  There was too much going on in there especially with the ball caps and candles taking up valuable space on one shelf.  So just like my utensil drawerlarge utensil drawer, and junk drawer I got to work.  As I told you in my last post, I got the caps out of there and hung up in the coat closet

I then emptied out the entire closet and cleaned each shelf  with my vinegar/lemon juice combo spray.  Just like the ball caps, I went through everything and decided what to keep and donate.  I actually found some of old co-sleeper sheets.  Wow, talk about once upon a time we had babies.  Yes, I even washed everything that I was keeping just to give it a clean, fresh smell.  Not that they stunk but you know it made me feel better.

Anywho, since it was pretty hard to take full length views of the closet I will do my best to demonstrate the befores and afters.

Top half of the closet before:



Bottom half of the closet before:

Meh, the closet looked kinda neat but not really.  The second shelf from the top had a plastic bin full of candles and other miscellaneous stuff along with all those darn ball caps!  The second shelf from the bottom had way too many kitchen towels, hand towels, etc.  A jam fest it was!  Oh and then at the very bottom I had a couple of kitchen appliances that did not fit in the kitchen (just a few feet away).

So after emptying the entire closet, deciding what I was going to keep, and cleaning the shelves, I gave this lil 'ol closet a nice makeover.  Here are my after pics.

Top half of closet after:

And here again:

On the very top shelf I have three shoe-size plastic bins stored with candles.  This is really the only place in the house I can store my candles.  Obviously the heat will get to them if store in the garage (Texas heat, y'all) and my utility room is also small and the one shelf I have in there is storing bigger/bulky items.  Anywho, all my candles for the different season are in there; some are actually lit others are just for decor.  Yeah, I'm one of those.  :) 

I also have one canvas bin of miscellaneous items for house use every now and then; and the extra space is for house decor that is too sensitive to be in the garage.  Just like the candles.

The second shelf is for our beach towels.  Yep, we have them and we don't just use them for the pool or beach.  I actually like to use them when after I shower.  They are extra cozy to me.  I have two shelf dividers that I purchased at Wal-Mart keeping those bulky towels in place.  I also have a few extra bed sheets on that same shelf.

The third shelf has two medium cabinet shelves that I bought at The Container Store (LOVE that place!).  Using these two shelves made a huge difference and of course it gave me more space!

These are the cabinet shelves:


Here are after pics of the bottom half:



The bottom shelf has two, small canvas bins.  One has kitchen towels and the other has smaller kitchen towels.  Basically the beige bin stores the towels we hang from the oven handle and the pink bin stores the kitchen towels we use for cleaning the counters, etc.  To the right of the pink bin are a couple of tablecloths and handmade doilies from my maternal grandmother's family in Mexico.  More on those on a later post.

The very bottom will now store toilet paper and paper towels.  Before they were kept in the utility room but having to grab a step ladder for these items got old real quick.

Now do I feel like a bazillion times better about this little makeover and it was rather inexpensive too.  The only things I purchased were the two medium cabinet shelves and the one small, beige bin; both from The Container Store.  All were on sale so about $13 total or so.  I already had the two shelf dividers (from Wal-Mart) and the pink and blue-striped canvas bins I bought a few years ago on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  If all of my towels were clean then there would not be enough room in this closet, that is for sure.  But there are always towels in the hamper so I don't have to worry about needing more room.

My next goal for this closet is to have brand new, matching towels and bed sheets.  I'm hoping to score some at a great home sale after the holidays.  Until then I'm just going to enjoy the great after because the too-many-stuffed-in-there look was driving me cah-razy!



Again, this was my pinspiration.  Until next time, peeps!  :)