Sunday, January 29, 2012

a whole new blog look... and my latest obsession: hats

Well hello! as i promised i have made some changes and may make a few more tweaks here or there until my blog feels like it fits just right. since my world is expanding so much and my posts are no longer soley based on sewing adventures i changed my blog title. this is no longer "my road to sewing"  but has evolved into "needles, eggshells, and hairspray...". (i will break down my new title in my about me page)

i hope you are as excited about things to come as I am!

do you remember that red cloche hat i fell in love with earlier this month?
well i was right! it went down to $5 and now... it is mine! So glad I waited!
 i also picked up 3 other hats for $5 each. They all originally cost $16.99 and i managed to snag them all for $20! so proud of me!
I love this wide brim cloche in neutral browns. I wore it to work Thursday and received so many compliments. little did they know it was hiding my pink locks haha
 here is another neutral brown cloche with a leopard strip all around. you may have already noticed, i go nuts for anything animal print!
 and lastly, i got this deep brown floppy hat. i feel so old hollywood glamour in all of these!
which is your favorite?

yesterday i went to visit my 90 year old neighbor, Miss Ann. she is really the cutest thing! she still lives alone and i see her walking her dogs everyday! i just wanted to stop in and take her some cupcakes but she wouldn't allow me to leave so quickly. we got to talking and she got to reminiscing. as soon as she mentioned the war era i told her how much i love the glamour of the time and that i had just bought these hats
she got so excited and pulled out all her vintage hats to show me!

she put this red cowgirl hat on me and said i looked so cute and the hat should belong to me.
it is a Sonni from San Francisco, just not sure what year. 
you can imagine my excitement! i could hardly believe it! she then also told me i could pick 1 more hat . I picked this vintage black one with a veil
 i love the little "claws".
now i just need to figure out how to store these babies! i think im in need of hat boxes for sure. just trying to figure out how i can make them or buy them cheap...
any ideas or suggestions?

tomorrow's post: this weekend's meals

Lily Bean

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

pretty in pink and cupcake therapy

i have been working from home since early november but had to go to campus to make phone calls and faxes. i finally received my work cell phone and hardly ever need to send faxes. so i decided it was time to bring back my pink hair
 i added 4 good size chunk panels and did all my ends
i missed my pink hair so much! so happy to be me again!
my Singer heavy duty model went haywire yesterday =( it will be about $30 to get fixed
the bright side of this is that i found out the sewng center is having sewing classes geared towards using commercial patterns! isn't that perfect! i am in the right place in my life and in my sewing adventures for this 4 week saturday class. it will really help me bring my new year's resolution to life.i start last week of february

i relaxed after work today and baked some yummy cupcakes.
they are orange cake mix...
 with caramel frosting...
 and sprinkles!
oh boy! what a treat!

hope they pleased your eyes as much as they did my tummy...
Lily Bean

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

first items off my list this year... better late start than never

Hello! As you may know i made a HUGE LIST of projects for 2012. I have been so crazy adjusting to my new school schedule that I haven't crafted much. today i finally got to making a few things. i made my lingerie and pet towels landry bags. they were super easy to make and simple to use. there is a shower curtain over my washer and dryer so i made them to hang off the rod. they detach easy with velcro

i participated in a blog feedback link party hosted by kitty from a law student's journey and learned a few things i can do to improve your experience at my blog. i will be making a few changes soon as i get a chance... hopefully this weekend.
stay tuned

pink hugs and kisses!
Lily Bean

Sunday, January 22, 2012

More fun at the stove

Hello again,
So as you know today I had planned to make a frittata and lasagna. i enjoyed making and eating both meals, but  not without a hitch. me in the kitchen could never go without a hitch.

first i want to tell you about the lasagna...
let me start by telling you it was a SUCCESS, yay!
1 egg
3 cloves garlic
16oz cottage cheese
1 lg tomato
24oz shredded mozarella cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 can spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
9 lasagna noodles
 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mince your garlic. Brown the meat with the oregano and garlic.
 Once browned, drain the oil then add your can of spaghetti sauce and let simmer on low for 5-7mins, stirring a few times
 While your meat sauce is simmering beginmaking your cheese sauce. Mix the parmesan cheese, egg, and cottage cheese together.
chop your tomoato and add it to the meat sauce. remove from heat. 
 next, grease your lasagna dish (which i now own... yay!).
cover the bottom of the dish with meat sauce then layer 3 noodles, cheese sauce, mozarella, meat sauce, 3 noodles, cheese sauce, mozarella, meat sauce, 3 noodles, the rest of the meat sauce, half of what's left of the mozarella
 bake in oven covered with foil for 45 mins then add the rest of the mozarella and let bake uncovered for 10 more mins or until cheese is browned
 it was very tasty! and i was over joyed when my family actually got seconds!

so back to breakfast haha
I followed directions to a tee but i found out later that they were not written well, that and i chose the wrong pan... you win some you lose some. it ended up being scrambled eggs loaded with great ingredients:
5 slices bacon
6 eggs
2 tbsp water
4 green onions
2 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
4 cherry tomatoes
3tbsp crumbled feta cheese
Don't get me wrong... the flavor was amazing!
i was just bummed that the presentation wasn't as it should be
so here is what i did...
cook the bacon until it is crispy
while the bacon is cooking, chop your green onions and fresh basil and set aside then chop your cherry tomaoes into quarters
in a bowl, wisk your eggs and water until well blended.
cut your bacon into small bite size pieces.
grease your pan (this is where i chose a fryer instead of a skillet... oops)
mix your onions and basil in with the eggs then add the whole mixture to the pan on medium heat. sprinkle the bacon over the top.
let cook while lifting the sides to let the eggs run over.
after about 3 mins add your cherry tomatoes and feta cheese to the top. cook until cheese is melted and eggs are fully cooked.
i could not get my eggs to fully cook so i just kinda scrambled things around the pan until the eggs were good.
the dish truly was delightful!

Things I learned in the kitchen today:
fresh basil is so aromatic and i loved working with it.
be sure to use the proper pans and dishes
it'll be easier to cook a lasagna if the noodles are cooked first.

again, my confidence went up in the kitchen.
as long as my meals are not a total loss and i learn from things i goof i am more than happy

i cannot wait to learn more about how flavors come together and experiment with more herbs and spices

Lily B Homemaker

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Adventures in the kitchen...

Hey there! Anyone who knows me, knows I am terrible in the kitchen. Partly because I am intimidated and terrifed, partly because no one has ever really taken the time to help me learn. Growing up my mom mainly had me help stir things, so I will never let you down if you need something stirred haha.

Just last week I was overcome with a true desire to cook! I browsed tons or websites and recipes until I decided on a lasagna dish. I made my shopping list and went out for my ingredients yesterday. I was more than excited to make my meal today. So as I was preparing to cook I realized I do NOT have a lasagna dish to bake in. Oh man! how silly of me to miss such a detail.

Instead I cooked a shrimp and rice dish.

To begin, chop a handful of fresh spinach and  1/4 of a medium sized onion.
Put 4 teaspoons of oil (i use extra virgin olive oil) in a heavy cereamic frying pan on medium heat.
Add 6 garlic cloves pressed and stir as it cooks for about 5 minutes then stir in the spinach and onion. Be sure it all gets coated well with the garlic and oil and let sit for a moment while you get your rice to cook. I added 2 cups of washed white rice to 4 cups of boiling water with some basil, salt, and 4 bay leaves..
Back to the frying pan... add shrimp. I had a pound in a bag. Stir so the shrimp is covered with the oil and veggies. Sprinkle some basil and salt onto the top and let sit for the flavor to come together. After about 2 minutes stir the mixture well.
Now if your rice turned out like it should, you would now be ready to serve rice topped with the shrimp and veggies. Unfortunately, my rice had lost too much steam (i used the wrong pot =/ ... lesson learned, won;t do that again) so I added the whole mixture to the pot to let the juice help it finish cooking.

The meal was not a total loss. In fact, it came out pretty good!
 here is an action shot of me cooking just after adding the shrimp
 have no fear! i bought a lasagna dish today. in fact, i bought a who cooking set. i need the proper tools at hand when i need them, plus they were on sale!
 i love pyrex and it will be great to be able to cook and store the food i make in the same dish
I had tons of fun cooking and my confidence meter went up a whole point when my family approved <3 In fact, i have made it my goal to be the cook on the weekends.
it will give my family a break, help me learn, and help me gain confidence.

wish me luck on my bacon-feta frittata and lasagna i haved planned for tomorrow

Lily B Homemaker

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lily Bean Boutique Raffle Giveaway

Hey all! I am having a raffle giveaway on my facebook page.
Simply "like" my page and enter here.
Good luck!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cupcake Tank Dress Recon Tutorial

howdy! well my weekend turned out to be a bit busier than i had planned but i am here to post the tutorial i promised before it becomes even more delayed.
so here you have it: my tank top recon dress <3

all it takes is a tank top, some elastic, and enough fabric to wrap around you and be as long as you'd like. i used a yard of fabric to go with my "delicious" tank top.
Put your tank top on and decide where you want it to become the bottom of the dress. Do consider about half an inch for seam allowance. Have a friend help you or go to a mirror and pinch up where you want to cut. 
 make a small snip to mark your spot
 get your elastic and wrap it around your body at the level of the snip. cut to fit with an extra 1/2 inch to overlap and sew.
 next you will measure from the cut down to the length you would like your dress. add 2 1/2 inches for seam allowance and hem. (icut my fabric 20 inches long). remove your tank top and cut straight across the tank top where you marked. you can get more technical measuring your "straight" line prior to cutting. i prefer to eyeball for this project.
 next you will want to measure around your widest part (usually your hips or bum) add 3 inches for seam allowance and ease. you can add more if you want it a bit more billowy but i don't suggest adding less. my bottom measured 37" so i cut my fabric 40" wide
 fold your fabric WRONG sides together and pin in place
 sew together. trim as close to your seam as you safely can
 fold over the seam and iron flat RIGHT sides together
 pin and sew again to enclose your seam (this is a French seam). iron 1/2 an inch over on the top edge.
 get your elastic and sew a zig-zag to join the ends. i like to line up the seams but since you won't see the elastic it does  n ot make any difference.
 tuck your tshirt into the skirt with the RIGHT sides together. i like to keep the elastic on the outside because it will be easier to control when sewing. be sure to line up the back of the shirt with the seam of the skirt. pin at the center back. then find the center front of all 3 layers and pin. continue around the piece finding the center between 2 pins until you feel you have enough for control while sewing. i have 8 pins
 when sewing the elastic on, the trick is to be sure to keep all 3 layers lined up and stretch all 3 layers taut. sew with a zig zag stitch all the way around.
 your stitch should look like this on the inside...
 ... and like this on the front
 and here is an action shot to show how it sits so far. you will want to try it on before hemming to be sure that it is the right length prior to hemming it. now would be the time to add of take away.
 i threw on my purple fabric belt to break up the pieces and it came together perfect.
 at this point i would nromally finish the hem and then prance around in all my super-cute glory but i decided this dress was too adorable not to have a ruffle! so off i go on to the ruffles. you will need TWICE the full width of the skirt. since mine was 40 i cut 80 inches. you can cut it in more than 1 strip if necessary and sew them all together. decided how long you want to have your ruffle and add 1 inch for hem and seam allowance. i cut mine 3 1/2 inches tall.
 connect the 2 pieces using a French seam (as describing above) fold and iron over 1/4 inch all around, then again 1/4 inch all around. this will feel like it take forever but will be so worth it. 
 sew the hem. your seams should look like this.
 now comes the run part. this will feel tedious but again, so worth it. attach ruffle to dress WRONG sides together. you will pin in the same fashion as when you were attaching the top to the bottom. pin one side and then find the spot exactly across from it and pin. continue finding the spot exactly between 2 pins
 when you are done pinning it will look something like this
 now to sewing the ruffle on. as the "puff" of fabric approaches the foot, pinch the sides in to the center...
 and fold down
hold flat until it is secure under the foot
 it should look like this.
 trim the edge near the seam, then fold over and carfully iron flat, pinning each ruffle down. THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT SO YOUR RUFFLES ARE NOT WONKY
 sew all the way around.
 your ruffle will be standing at attention
 be sure to keep the seam down and fold the ruffle over to iron flat.
 now you can prance around in all you super-cute glory

cupcakes and sprinkles!
Lily Bean