Sunday, December 30, 2012

Liebster Blog Award - Thanks Cherie!

Wowwie! I was nominated for another Liebster Blog Award!
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Thanks to Cherie over at The Sewing Lab!
She nominated my blog at the beginning of this month. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to the nomination. You know me, always burning the candle at both ends...
So I am finally sitting here and taking time to catch up on blogging
The rules are:
Link to the blogger who awarded you and follow their blog... CHECK
Blog about the award... CHECK
Give the award to 5 other bloggers, preferably with less than 200 followers...
Answer 11 questions asked by the the blogger who nominated you and give 11 questions to the bloggers you award...

So here are my questions as asked by Cherie:

1. What is your favorite project that you have made?
I think so far the most treasured piece I have made would have to be the Christmas dress I just finished. I adore everything about it! The style, the print, the fit, and the way I feel in it. But one piece that I hold dear to my heart would have to be the first dress I ever made because my Bempa inspired me to do so. I am attached to it because of the sweet memory it will always hold of when my Bempa said "Okay mija, it's nice that you can make skirts but I think it's time to challenge yourself with a dress. You can do it". It is far from perfect, but I wonder how long I would just keep making skirts had my Bempa not pushed me to better myself.
 



2. What was the most frustrating project you have tackled?
My most frustrating project would have to be an attempt at T-shirt recons, but I never tackled it and it never made it into the blogosphere. I only discovered I am terrible at recons. The most frustrating thing I have tackled will probably have to be learning to cook. I am still not as creative in the kitchen as I could hope to be but I have learned so much this last year and built up plenty of courage and enthusiasm for the art of cooking. I know if I keep challenging  myself I will only improve and I am no longer scared of some fails as I learn how to be a success. You have no idea how scared I really was when I decided I needed to finally suck it up and get in the kitchen. I am getting too old to always have people cooking for me haha. A girl can only live off of Top Ramen and Pop Tarts for so long.

3.What kinds of crafts do you do?
I sew and paint with puffy paint. I am trying to get better at hand embroidery and loom knitting and I am trying to find the time to learn to knit and crochet.

4. Where do you go for craft supplies?
I frequent Joanns and try to shop mostly from red tags unless there's a great sale. I also get alot of fabric from WalMart and check tehir clearance as well. Sure, plenty of the fabric is thin and crappy but if you really look you can find some cheap treasures. Once in a while I will get some from Hobby Lobby but it's usually too expensive for  my college girl budget. I get yarn from Michael's and WalMart and don't mind the cheap stuff since I am still just learning. I will occasionally find some cool yarn on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I buy buttons anywhere I spot one I can't go home without.

5. What is your favorite fabric to work with?
I have never tried anything outside of regular quilting fabric cotton weaves. I suppose it is safe to say it is my comfort zone. I know what to expect and how it will behave. I hope to be confident enough to try something slinkier soon.

6. How big is your fabric stash and do you have specific plans for all of it?  Some of it?
*GULP* I don't dare open the "fabric" closet until I am ready to organize it. I will need to do that in the New Year and before school starts back up mid-January. I promise o photograph the beast!

7. How many patterns are on your "to sew" list?
Oh dear! I have a spreadsheet saved with at least 50 that I own and at least 50 more I want to buy. I love patterns!!

8. Do you sew/craft for yourself or for other people more often?
I sew and craft mostly for myself right now. I make gifts for people for birthdays and Christmas but in general I'm currently a very selfish crafter. When I hole myself up for 16 weeks of studies I can't wait to bust out and reward myself with new things to make. Since I don;t have much time right now, most of my efforts go to myself.

9. Do you sell your items?
I have sold my items before but I don't live in a very crafty or artsy town so I would benefit more from Etsy. I started a shop but don't have time to run it so long as I am in school. But I do have friends and family who have bought from me.

10. How did you learn to sew?
When I was very young my grandma showed me how to sew by hand and I took to it quickly. I made doll and Barbie clothes mostly. The biggest project I made at that age by hand was a small quilted pillow with the word WELCOME embroidered on it. I gave it to my baby cousin when she was born (She is 18  now). I wish I had a picture of it. I am not sure if it is still in existence but I have the memory and that matters most.
When I really began to learn further was 2 years ago when I finally took to my sewing machine. That was when I began this blog and now thje rest in history.

11. What is your next project?
I am in the middle of making a simple fleece jacket.

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 Then I want to make a flannel dress and some gloves before getting back to school. Hopefully even more than that!
 
Well I may need to choose my 5 nominees at a later time... and develop my 11 questions for them too.
Until then...
 
 
XOXOX
Lily Bean
 
p.s. these are the boots I bought with my Christmas money from Bempa. Aren't they cool!


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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes... Need I Say More?

Howdy!
As soon as I saw this cupcake recipe I just knew I would HAVE to make them stat! So they were added to the menu for Christmas.
 
For the batter you will need:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

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For the filling you will need:
8oz cream cheese softened
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

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Preparing the batter:
Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Combine water, oil, vinegar and vanilla in a small bowl.
Mix the wet ingredients together with the dry ingredients until well blended.

Preparing the filling:
Mix together the cream cheese, egg, and sugar until well blended and then fold the chocolate chips in.

Fill cupcake liners half way with batter and then add a scoop of filling to the center of each one. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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These can be enjoyed plain or topped with frosting.

MMMM mmmm!
I want to make some in a strawberry version next!

XOXOX
Lily Bean
 
Here's some cooling next to the egg nog cookies...
 
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Egg Nog Cookies, Where Have These Been All My Life?!?

Hi everyone!
Boy oh by did I get in the baking mood this Christmas!
With all the Christmas movies playing and Christmas songs on my Pandora I couldn't help but let the spirit of Christmas over come me.
I found this wonderful recipe for Egg Nog Cookies and was happy to find that I had everything I needed to make them.
 
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Here is what you need:
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup eggnog
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 tsp nutmeg
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
 
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Whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar together. Then add egg nog, vanilla extract, and egg yolks and mix until smooth
Add in the flour mix and mix at a low speed until well combined, but do not over mix.
Make teaspoon size balls of dough and place them about 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
I found they came out better when i smashed each dough ball down a bit with the palm of my hand.
Sprinkle them with nutmeg and then bake at 300 for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. 
 
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 These cookies are amazing for anyone who enjoys egg nog. They complimented my morning coffee quite well!
 
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I was sure to share some with my dear friend and neighbor on Christmas day <3 
 
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I hope you enjoy these while egg nog is still being stocked in markets. I know I will be buying plenty more egg nog!
 
XOXOX
Lily Bean
 
p.s. Here's the last Christmas outfit I photographed
My shirt says "JUST HOW GOOD DO I HAVE TO BE?"
 
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Christmas Dress (Butterick B5603 View A)

Wow! Christmas came and went like a flash of lightning!
I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!
I have been keeping very, very busy since beginning my winter break from school.
Here is the dress I made for Christmas
 
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(Please excuse the pup running by and her foxy toy at my feet lol)
 
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I adore this dress! As you may already know (by the tattoo on my arm) i love boughs of holly! i got this fabric after Christmas last year and I am so happy with the way the dress turned out.
 
I had a wonderful Christmas! I baked, and baked, and baked. (Recipes to come)
 
XOXOX
Lily Bean
 
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Breaded Parmesan Chicken and Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies

This weekend I was able to get some cooking in. It felt so good being in the kitchen again!
I cooked up some tasty chicken and made some extra yummy cookies. Both are recipes I found on Pinterest.

Just as in real  life, we will get to dessert first!

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You need:
2 boxes blueberry muffin mix
2 eggs
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 a bar)
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
 
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First mix the butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar together. When well mixed and all a cream consistency then add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Add in the muffin mixes and blend together well. Last, fold in the white chocolate chips.

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Let the cookie dough chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Drop by tablespoon-ful onto cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 13-15 mins or until edges golden brown. In my experimenting with these for the first time I found that small "tablespoon-ful" dollops worked better than heaping ones and keep dough in the fridge between batches.

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Let cool for 2-3 minutes on cookie sheet and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely... that is if they last that long. My family was eating these faster than I could get them out of the oven! And I have already been asked to make more. So yummy!


Now on to the main course! For the Breaded Parmesan Chicken you need:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Poultry seasoning, or seasoning of your choice
extra toasted bread for bread crumbs (not pictured)
and chicken (of course haha). I used boneless skinless thighs

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Mix the sour cream and parmesan together iin a small bowl.

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Lay your chicken pieces in a baking dish and then cover the top of each of them with the sour cream mix.

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Sprinkle seasonings of choice on top of the sour cream and then cover in bread crumbs. Bake at 425 for 45mins to an hour or until chicken is fully cooked.

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This was so easy and came out so wonderful! I completely forgot to take a picture until after I went back for seconds.

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XOXOX
Lily Bean

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We need to play catch up...

Hi everyone! Well we have some catching up to do. I am finished with finals and just found out i got A's in all 4 classes!! So awesome! I kept my 4.0. Time to celebrate...
I have 4 weeks of winter break!
Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!
So now I am preparing for my next "end-of-semester-tuition-reimbursement-tattoo". I will be getting a cartoon '57 Chevy Bel Air on my left lower arm.
Hoping to be able to get it before my winter break is over but it all depends on my tuition reimbursement.
 
I have washed and ironed 2 loads of fabric. I have never been happy to iron so much! For one, I was excited to finally use my new iron and two I was so happy to finally have time for crafting.

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Of course I can't show you anything I am crafting that is a Christmas gift until it has been received. But as soon as I am done making my gifts I can start on my Christmas dress. Today I finally decided on Butterick B5603 View A in this holly material with red accents.
 
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I have taken a few Xmas outfit pictures but dealing with all the issues of this past week I have forgotten to snap pix on most days.
 
"Hey Santa I may be bad but I'm so good at it". This shirt has enough green glitter to last a lifetime! I love it! 

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I paired it with my tan corduroy mini and my super thick knit winter leggings. They are just like a sweater for my legs. And they have adorable sprakly snowflakes all over.
 
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How fun is this top! Happy Bunny as a "Gangster Wrapper". I did not get a full outfit picture when wearing this shirt (it was the night of my final) but I promise the rest was bland anyways. Just black tights with a burgandy corduroy mini.
 
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I usually don't wear this shirt very much but I fell in love with it paired with this polka dot skirt.
 
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This is a close-up of the candy cane heart rhinestone design.
 
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and an artsy shot of my skirt =P
 
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And lastly (for now) my snowman shirt. I love this outfit <3
 
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Well that wraps up this post. I will follow up with a post with 2 recipes and another post where I answer the questions offered by Cherie over at The Sewing Lab who nominated me for The Liebster Blog Award. Hooray!! (Thanks again Cherie).
 
Here's a picture of a thick icicle from a drippy hose (no one knew it was even dripping before the freezing night haha). They say we may be in for rain mixed with snow tomorrow... Looks like Jack Frost may finally be here to bring winter.
 
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Baby It's Cold Outside!
 
XOXOX
Lily Bean

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Very Somber Week

I have had so been trying to write since Finals but it has been a terrible week and although I have been accomplishing some crafting and cooking I have felt writer's block. I think I feel the need to take a moment of silence for the tragedy in Connecticut. My heart breaks for all the families affected. I know our whole nation is in mourning and feels the same as me.
 
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I have never even been half way to the east coast.
I do not know anyone in the area.
I just know that babies lives were cut tragically short in a devastating act of pure evil.
Since the moment I heard of the heinous events I have been trying to find a way to give back. I know I can bring no peace to these broken families, but I can show some support. I have seen an address going around facebook where condeolences can be sent. It is a small act but at least it will be a show of support, love, and kindness.
I thought I would post this information here in case some of you have not yet seen it and would like to send something as well.

The U.S. Postal Service has established an address where people can send letters of condolence to the people of Newtown. Here is the address:

Message of Condolence
PO Box 3700
Newtown, CT 06470


I also had a death in my family last Tuesday. I lost a cousin. He lost a battle with alcohol. I am devastated at the news because he was always so driven. I never knew him to be sad or mad. Recent happenings in life had resulted in this 180 and it was only months before he was gone. He was laid to rest yesterday.

I am glad the week is behind us and know that now as a nation we need to begin healing.

XOXOX
Lily Bean

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May all the souls lost rest in peace.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Xmas Outfit Day 1 and More Fabric

Hi everyone!
Well My goal is to write and post this in 10 minutes. I have to get to bed to be up by 6A tomorrow so I can get to a craft fair. ( I promise, I will have my 700 million flash cards with me. I will just be there in case help is needed).

I just wanted to share my Christmas shirt and outfit from today:
I wore my pink "I Love Frosty" t-shirt
 
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I paired it with a tan corduroy mini skirt and striped purple tights.

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I love funky tights! These have sparkles in some of the stripes!! Too cool!

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Well I went into Joann's today... I really shouldn't have. I barely have the dough I need to finish shopping and shipping for Christmas. But I did. And I bought fabric.
I have a problem.
I recognize this.
Knowing and admitting is half the battle.

What's a girl to do when the red tag and flannel fabric is an extra 50% off?!?!
Of course I had to buy some!
I have no regrets and no buyer's remorse.
I got all of this for $15.06
 
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(1 yard charcoal with girly skulls sweatshirt, 2 yards green and white flannel, 1.5 yards white flannel, 1 1/3 yards fox flannel, and 1 2/3 yards magenta flannel)

Feel free to enroll me in Fabricaholics Anonymous.
 
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Off to bed!
XOXOXOX
Lily Bean
 
p.s. I only went 5 mins over the time I wanted to spend right now, hooray!
(I expected worse haha)

p.p.s. Here is a "blooper" picture for you. I was planning on posing with a candy cane but Penelope decided I was holding it up for her to try and grab haha. Needless to explain, I was caught mid-laugh in this shot. Crazy pup.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Finals Just Around the Corner... and I Have Zero Attention Span

Hey there!

I have finished my Pharmacology and Literature finals but do not know my grade yet. I think I can safely say both classes should be A's. Next week I have my HIM and Computers in Health Care finals. I am most terrified of my HIM final on Monday and will feel better when it has passed. I currently hold a 96 in that class but must do well on my final to hold my A.
 
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So needless to say I should be studying right now... but I have no attention span and I think after I blog some thoughts I may be able to focus more.

Today I received a suprise care package in the mail! It was the sweetest thing <3

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2 packs of Chips Ahoy, plenty of Starbucks (christmas blend, hibiscus refresher, and peppermint mocha mixes), plus a calendar for next year, a cute retro coffee sign, and a card signed by my loves! do they know me, or do they know me??
I was so happy it brought tears to my eyes.
... a bit of relief from the stress of finals

I can't wait for finals to pass so I can finish my decorating and start my crafting

By this time of year I am usually way past done decorating and mostly done crafting and wrapping.I still need to assemble my light-up Santa in a airplane that I keep in the living room, none of my crafting has been started, I have not even wrapped one gift to put under the tree, and I still have 3 packages that need to be shipped out. One of those packages is going to my dad and contains his birthday and Christmas... his birthday is 2 weeks from today =/

I haven't even begun crafting any of my homemade gifts for this year yet. So much to do... Good thing I work well under pressure.

Plus I want to sew up a holly dress for Christmas.

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I have some flannel and want to make three cozy winter dresses with it as well.

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Now that I have patterns and fabric I have no time!

I have not had any chance of baking cookies since deciding I want to bake a different batch ever weekend. I should be good to take that back up next weekend.

One tradition I personally have for as long as I can remember is wearing a Christmas shirt every day after Black Friday until Christmas. I have quite the collection. I will try to take a picture of my elf style every day and share my shirts with you. Thankfully (since I have to get dressed no matter how busy I am haha) I have not had to break this habit this year.

Many of the blogs I am reading are covering Christmas wish lists and memories, I will blog about both in the near future and would love to hear about yours.

XOXOXO
Lily Bean