Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cream Cheese-Stuffed Raspberries

Here's a little treat for you raspberry lovers that I adapted from an idea I found on Pinterest. These little beauties are great any time of day. They're yummy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Trust me, I've eaten them for all three & every time they were delish.

Read this original post from Moore Minutes to see how she made her Frozen Yogurt Stuffed Raspberries & a few other healthy snack ideas.

For some reason, the first thing I thought of when I read the post was, "Oohh! Wouldn't these be great stuffed with cream cheese? And chocolate. Yeah, chocolate."

And when I saw some beautiful raspberries the other day, I decided to give it a try.

Want to try some for yourself? Here's what to do:

Wash the berries & let them dry.

Mix together 8 oz. of softened cream cheese & 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. (This is plenty to fill about 2 cups of berries.)

Pipe the filling into the raspberries using a pastry bag or mechanical pastry bag. You may be able to do this with a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off if you don't have the pastry bag & tips. Just be sure the cream cheese is softened & the tip is not too small, otherwise it's tough to pipe it out.

After that, I added a little chocolate chip to each one just because I think chocolate makes almost anything better.

They're pretty & yummy. In fact, they're pretty yummy.

There really are a ton of possibilities with this & many of them are listed in the original post.

My sister made her version by stuffing mini chocolate chips in the berry & topping with a little whipped cream.

I've got you thinking now, don't I? What version will you try?

I'm sharing this post with a few of these friends. Visit them for more inspiring ideas!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

It's kinda a sad week around here. I've just been through a bad break-up with a lamp I've been with for quite a while now, & I'm having a hard time getting over it.

Remember this post where I told you all about my commitment phobia? That was when we first met. I was so sure we were going to last forever. This was when I first brought it home...

And then, out of nowhere, there was a break-up. And by break-up, I mean the literal kind. It was ugly. We're talking shattered glass & hurt feelings, & maybe even a tear or two.

Apparently, the problem was something to do with my kids. And if it comes down to choosing between the relationship & my kids, I'll always choose my kids.

I have to admit, though. I'll be sad to see it go.

But I'm sure I'll get over it just as soon as I find my next perfect match. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Parisian Master Bath

I'd love to be able to tell you that I first got my inspiration for my Parisian Master Bath from my trip to Paris last year. Yep, that would've made a really great post if I could've had pics from the great little hotel that looked like the gorgeous Paris apartment baths that we Americans dream of and then came home and replicated it, always remembering how I was first inspired in Paris.

But, real life and real decorating are not always perfect. The truth is, as great as our little Paris hotel was, the bathroom wasn't quite as picturesque as those dreamy romantic baths you see in magazines. It was somewhat smaller, somewhat more "peach" and somewhat more foreign with the retro European hair dryer and the odd faucets.

And as quaint as it was, it didn't really inspire me to come home and pattern my own bathroom after it. But it did have something going for it that I'll never be able to replicate. And that was the great view from the window. Yes, that's the Eiffel Tower peeking out from behind the trees. And I may or may not have had to stand on the toilet to get this shot.

So, the truth is that I had to pull my inspiration for my bathroom from my ideals of Parisian bathrooms instead of my actual experience with bathrooms in Paris.

And maybe it's more appropriate to call this theme my American version of a Parisian bath. Hmmmm....

Just to redeem myself a little, I'd like to say that the lavender is actually from France, although my mom bought it for me at Marshall's....

And the little wrapped soaps are the actual ones from our little Paris hotel because I'm just a nerd like that.

And these soaps...well, they're just from Macy's, but I wrapped them in canvas to make them look a little more French. Did it work?

And I'm still on the lookout for an American version of a Parisian vanity chair to go over there. I'll keep you posted on that.

And for those of you who said you liked my Faux Grain Sack Sort-of Roman Shade, thank you. If you are one of the ones who said you want to make one, be sure to send me pics! And if you missed that post, click here for the details.

So, while it may not be completely authentically Parisian, it is completely authentically me, which is just how I like it!

Sharing this post with some of these friends. Check them out!

Thrifty Decor Chick

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Faux Parisian Grain Sack Meets Faux Roman Shade: A Real Love Story

I've been doing a little primping in the bathroom this week. Unlike my normal primping in the bathroom, this was actually done to the bathroom, not to myself. Ok, so whatever.

I made the decision a while back to make a faux Roman shade for my bathroom window. And since I gravitate toward all things Paris, I combined the idea with inspiration from a Paris grain sack & that's how this treatment was born...

Class, can anyone guess what kind of fabric I used? Of course. A canvas drop cloth. This one was a 7 oz. weight & I used about half of a 9'x12', so it cost me around $10. And yes, I buy so much of this stuff the people at HD & Lowes don't even look at me funny anymore.

So, I started out by assessing the window, & deciding on the area I wanted the treatment to cover. I wanted my "shade" to hang over the outside of the window & trim, but this could also be made to fit inside the window casing as well.

I took the width I wanted it to be & added an inch to allow for the seam on each side. Then, I took the length I wanted & added an extra 11 inches to allow for it to be gathered up at the bottom, plus I added an extra 8 inches at the top to allow for later attaching it to wood & hanging it. Then, I cut out 2 pieces of the canvas in the size I had determined.

Then, I was ready to transfer the design to the top piece of canvas.

You know I wouldn't lie to you-- this took a little longer than I first anticipated. I had totally planned to go with this method for the design transfer. However, after several failed tests with different products, I just could not get it to work for me. (By the way, if anyone has a tip for me on this, let me know. I still love the idea of it.)

SO, I had to go with Plan B to get my design transferred to the fabric, which was the freezer paper stencil. (Yes, I've gotten a lot of experience with this lately. Click here to see more.) This was, by far, the most complex design I've done & yes, it was tedious, tiring, & all that good stuff. Re-assembling the inner parts of the letters was a challenge. But, I got it done & I'm happy with the results.

After the design was on, the rest was easy. (Yes- you, too, can do this!) I simply sewed the two pieces of canvas together, leaving the top open, then turned it inside out, creating a huge "sack".

At this point, I ironed out the wrinkles & hung it over my ironing board to finish off the bottom.

To get the look of a shade that's partly drawn up, I measured up from the bottom the extra 11 inches I had added & marked it with a pin.

Then, I created a few folds up to the pin & sewed the folds together with a needle & thread.

After I repeated the process on the other side, I realized I had some excess droop-age in the middle & since nobody wants that, I did a little tweaking & added a couple more stitches there as well.

After the sewing was done, it was ready to hang, so I asked my handsome assistant to cut my chosen piece of wood to exactly one inch shorter than the width of my "shade". I did this to make sure the wood would not peek out one side or the other. The wood we used was a piece approximately 2 1/2" wide & 3/4" thick, but any size similar to that will work. (I've even done this with a yard stick.)

I attached the fabric shade to the wood by placing my shade face down & wrapping the top edge of the fabric around the wood; then I used a staple gun to secure it in place.

I also added a staple on each end, wrapping the fabric around the back of the end of the wood to cover it. (Wow, I've made this sound way more complicated than it actually is!)

After that, it was ready to go up. My hubby drilled a couple of pilot holes into the wood for me to prepare the way for screws, but we found out it would be better to drill the holes before attaching the fabric so it doesn't pop out your staples so you don't have to go get your staple gun & do it all over again. Just sayin'.

To get it on the wall, he just drilled the screws into the pilot holes & that was it! No drapery hardware required.

Easy, huh? I know --this post made this project sound way harder than it actually is & I'm exhausted typing it out & if anyone is still here, I know you're exhausted reading it. So give yourself a break, come back soon, & I'll show you more of the bathroom & how my new shade looks in there.

Whew! I think I'll go soak in the tub.

Stop by some of these sites where I'll be sharing this little how-to.