Thursday, October 27, 2011

Food Fail

I'm going to this cardigans and confections party tonight and I had all these ideas of what sweet treat I wanted to make (and I should have stuck with what I know) but instead decided to make these doughnut hole eyeballs in the spirit of Halloween. I originally saw the "recipe" on some Halloween treat site but I couldn't find the same exact site when I went back to make sure I had everything. I remembered it required melted white chocolate and colored icing. That seemed easy enough!

Yesterday when I was trying to find the original site I found all kinds of other people making the same thing and I thought the way this blog displayed them on a fork was cool. So I bought some black forks and a black bowl to display them in along with the chocolate and other ingredients. Unfortunately I didn't read the blog or notice that it was icing and not chocolate. I should have known that me and melted chocolate don't go together because of the long ago Christmas truffle disaster I survived only because my friend at the time was working at a chocolate store. She sailed in and saved Christmas just like Rudloph.

It's a good thing I bought an extra thing of doughnut holes because I'm not sure anyone is going to want these eyeballs. They really don't look that bad but it was not at all what I envisioned. I thought the chocolate would coat them nice and even but instead it would hardly stick and when it did it was goopy. Not only that, but I didn't have any parchment paper so they stuck to my cutting board where I decided to sit them to harden. Of course that meant when I picked them up the bottom chocolate stuck to the board. This actually might have been a good thing because I was wondering how the fork was going to poke through the chocolate without cracking it to pieces.

In addition, the icing I got doesn't appear to harden (I have no experience with icing) and so I have no idea how I am going to transport them without all the icing smearing all over them and whatever container I can figure to put them in (the bowl is not going to work). Ultimately what I have learned from this experience is that I am lost without my Sarah. Whenever I had to make something for a party she always made it with me (for me) and it always came out beautifully.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Winner and How To

The winner of the Mingle mag giveaway is LEFTZ!!! Yaaaaay!

Remember how I was on that diet? Well it got a little derailed (as in I stopped following it strictly but still mostly follow the principles). I have officially lost 20 lbs since the middle of August. I have about 5-10 more pounds to go and am kind of at that plateau stage but that's ok, it isn't my top priority right now.

One problem with weight loss, or weight gain for that matter, is clothing. Most of the pants in my drawers right now are several sizes too big. Luckily I had a tub under my bed of smaller pants so I got it out over the weekend to see if any of the pants fit me. In the tub I found a great pair of black pants that fit at the waist but had these really flared out legs. I have gotten so used to skinny jeans I just did not like how they fit so I decided to alter them.

The process was super easy. I turned them inside out and then took my favorite skinny jeans that fit like I like and layed them on top matching up the outside leg seams. Make sure both pairs of pants are inside out. I used white chalk to mark the inside seam of the pant legs I was altering from the crotch to the bottom following my favorite jeans as a pattern. Then I just sewed along the line, cut the excess fabric and put them on. Instant new pants!

I hope you can tell...I know it is hard to see because they are so dark. Next I have to figure out how to take in some of the other pants I have that fit in the legs but are too loose in the waist.



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mingle Magazine Giveaway!

Alright everyone, today is the day for the Mingle magazine review and giveaway! Let me start by saying it was a beautiful day today and I was able to sit on my porch with a cup of tea and read the entire magazine from front to back. It may have been because of the rare fall sunshine in Oregon, or how pleasantly quiet my street was today, but the atmosphere for reading through such a beautiful magazine was perfect. Now that evening is approaching I have moved inside, brewed some apple cider tea and am now ready to tell you all about Mingle.

Mingle magazine is dedicated to providing "creative ideas for unique gatherings" and boy is it chock full of ideas and gatherings of all kinds. My first excitement occurred when the second gathering featured was held on my very own Oregon coast. The gathering itself is called Be Present Retreats and there is an abundance of information on what they do and where they are held. What struck me most about the article, other than it happened so close to my home, was a beautiful poem in the middle that was accompanied by pictures of the Oregon coast. I could not find who actually wrote the poem but it pulled at my heart through the words and familiar images. There is more of it but you must pick up the mag to read the poem entirely.

Sometimes life is hard, we said
You are not alone.
There is pain and there is beauty mixed together, we said.
You are not alone.
What is so amazing about this magazine is how they include a real wide range of gatherings, from childrens' birthday parties to weddings to anniversary parties to friends having Saturday beer night to a group of 60 women on a chartered bus antique tour and so, so many more. In 144 pages I think everyone can find something in this magazine to inspire them, but I am going to share a few that inspired me.

I seemed to be struck most by the retreats featured in the magazine which led me to believe something similar would be great for me right now. Even though I'm sure it won't happen due to time or money the pages of Mingle gave me just a little bit of a taste of the goodwill that a wonderful retreat can provide. The below pictures are from a creative retreat by Beth Nicholls and the photos are by Her retreats are called Do What You Love if you would like more information. Can't you just feel the warmth in this room? I would probably never leave.

I think what it is that struck me about these inspiring stories of people coming together to share fellowship is that at this point in my life it is my friends that are keeping me strong. Without good friends and heartfelt companionship it is a lonely, lonely world.

In addition to the heartwarming stories of people connecting with others Mingle is also full of beautiful pictures of food and drinks (because really, what get together is fun without them). Honestly I think I love pictures of food and drinks more than I actually like making them. There are so many beautiful ideas and pictures I barely could figure out what to show you but I decided on two that I might possibly make myself. The first is a ginger ale drink with fresh fruit which is one of my favorite things (although I generally like to toss in a little alcohol hee hee).

The second is a sweet treat because there are just too many in this magazine to ignore. I think there is just about every kind of sweet treat throughout the pages of Mingle to satisfy any ones sweet tooth. I chose to show these because they look delicious and are clever. Find more about the creator at The TomKat Studio.

I would highly recommend this magazine if you love beautiful pictures, reading inspiring stories and/or need ideas for your next amazing gathering. If you want to win your very own copy I have an extra to giveaway to a lucky reader.

The giveaway is going to be up for a week and there are several ways that you can enter (and enter more than once for more chances):

1. Leave a comment on this post to be entered. Also if you do any of the below additional entry options please let me know in your comment so I enter you the correct number of times!

2. Join my mailing list to receive an additional entry. Email to join. You will only receive one email a month (on the first of the month) with news and other special notices for BeBe Babies.
3. "Like" my brand new Facebook fan page and receive an additional entry.
4. Follow my blog and receive an extra entry.
5. Visit my Etsy shop and let me know your favorite doll listed to receive an additional entry.
6. Blog about my giveaway on your blog and receive an additional entry (make sure to give a link to the blog post).

Good luck to everyone and thanks for visiting!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Life Marches On...

Sometimes all we really want to do is hide under the covers and pretend that we never have to get back out again. Unfortunately life marches on with or without us. So we get up, we persevere, and we try our hardest to not let hardship ruin all our hard work. What I needed today was a day to catch up on projects as well as sprinkle some cheer throughout my home.

Besides some much needed yard work, I did a ton of laundry and put up some Halloween decorations. It is already going to be the 4th week of the new school year this week and I can't even believe that much time has gone by already. I feel like I have been running a mile a minute, trying to get used to being on a new campus and a new way of life.

Due to school and all the changes I have barely had time for BeBes but I am excited to say that when I finish this post I am going to get some sewing done. Tomorrow I plan to sew even more as well as post the review I was selected to do for Mingle magazine. Remember I have an extra copy that I will be giving away to one of you lucky readers. Make sure to check back tomorrow! I have already thumbed through it and it looks amazing. I think it will be really fun going through it slowly. Until then...