Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween to all of your freaks and ghouls out there!  Smile  I hope you are all playing it safe and having a fun time tonight.  I’m doing my usual Halloween thing of spending the night in.  It’s raining something horrible out there so I don’t think there were any trick-or-treaters out tonight.  My friend even took her kids to the mall because we got hit with one of the coldest and wettest Halloweens in a long time. I remember Halloweens just a few years back where you had to wear short sleeve shirts because it was hot an muggy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the cold, but the wind and rain make it extra brrrrrrr.  So I hope you are staying warm tonight if your neck of the woods is unseasonably cold too tonight.

Right now I am currently counting down the hours to the start of Nanorwrimo.  I am being a Nano Rebel this year by not writing a novel.  I’m going to be finishing up a script for the photostory I’ve been trying to finish for a long time now.  I think my time of Nanowrimo is coming to an end.  I don’t know if I’ll be doing it next year.  I do cherish the crazed writing during November, I just think I want to start making that an everyday thing than just a one month thing, so I don’t know about future Nanos.  But this year is my first as a Rebel and I’m kind of excited about it.  I don’t want to write a novel just to write a novel and waste time on something I’ll hate, so I will write the script which will hopefully help me write my story and get it done so I can start taking pictures in December and start putting it up next year.  Fingers crossed.

As for other things I am doing right now, I’m focusing on my health right now.  There are a lot of things I need to get done by the end of the year.  I have something I am dreading coming up in 28 days, and I don’t really want to talk about it right now because I’m that nervous about it.  It’s really silly to be nervous about it, but when I explain it…on the 28th or 29th of next month, then I’m sure it will be clearer why I dreaded it.  I’m working on inventory for my shop.  I finally found a place to put my shop.  I think that was another problem for me, where to put my shop, but I found a nice place for it to be that a lot of other doll sellers are on so it works.  And well, I guess that’s about it right now.  So the goals for the end of the month is to work on the immediate health issues at hand, get through that situation I’m dreading at the end of next month, and get the shop open.  I know I won’t make the Christmas rush with my shop, but that’s ok, as long as I get it open.  Oh, and yes I am still working on emails, comments, etc., etc. etc., you get the point.  I’m working on all that.  Now that some stress has been taken off of me with my parents health either doing better or being looked at, my mom still worries me some with her heart issues, I’m getting a little more calmer and I can focus better.  I’m hoping this next month will be busy and productive for me.  I’m ending this year on a good note, no matter what.  And NO Michelle, that isn’t jinxing it for you by saying it aloud.  Fingers crossed Smile

And on that crazy note, I will bring this post to a close.  I will talk to you lovelies soon.  Be good until then.  Bye for now.  Smile

Realizing she needs to get up and exercise some of this candy off,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Homemade Butterfingers


Ok, so about a month ago I found this recipe online for homemade Butterfingers.  Supposedly candy corn, peanut better, and compound chocolate make for a spot-on replica of the crunchy peanut butter treat.  So I was super excited to try my hand at making it.  So I got a two pound bag of candy corn…you only need a pound for one batch, a 18 oz. jar of JIF honey peanut butter…you only need 16 oz. but I used the whole jar, and compound chocolate…I couldn’t find any at the store I was at but knew you could make some from chocolate chips.  So with my ingredients in hand I set out to make the most awesome treat in the world…or so I thought.  What’s to follow is my experience with the recipe and what I learned about it.  Smile

So first of all, I had a big two pound bag of candy corn.  Nothing wrong with that right?  Except that the candy corn was for Halloween…as in trick-or-treating.  What does that mean?  The candy corn came divided into individual baggies.  I needed a pound for my recipe.  So I had to sit there and cut the baggies open to get a pound.  If you are doing this recipe, be sure to get the bag from the regular candy section. It’s just a bag of candy corn.  You tear it open and you are good to go.  It took forever to get a pound of candy corn from those baggies.

So next I put the candy corn in the microwave for a minute.  Stirred.  In for 15 seconds.  Stirred.  in for 15 seconds.  Stirred.  In for 15 seconds.  Stirred.  You’re getting the idea right?  Now when you stir it be sure to fully stir because I think some of the candy was cooking on the bottom but not getting stirred and got a little hard.  But yeah, so that took a little while but I got it melted, but it was quickly cooling on me, so I had to hurry and get the peanut better into the bowl.  This lead to lesson learning two.

Ok, so this hot mucky orange mess in your bowl is starting to cool no sooner that microwave turns off.  You have got to get that peanut better stirred in and then put it all in a pan to fully cool.  But like I said, this stuff is already cooling. This is where I made my big mistake I think.  When I pulled the candy corn out and placed it on a tray on the counter I had to open the peanut butter…as in take off the top and pull off the protective seal, and scoop it out and into the candy corn blob.  I stirred every time I got a little something in, but this stuff was cooling fast.  By the time I was done the stuff at the bottom was hard as a rock and I gave up fully blending so I wouldn’t end up with a rock in the bowl.  So I quickly scooped it into a parchment paper lined 8x8 pan.  Now what I quickly learned was that I should have scooped the peanut butter out into a separate bowl and have it waiting with a spatula to quickly scoop into the candy corn the second it comes out.

So I put the mess into a parchment lined 8x8 pan and put it into the fridge.  I believe this was mistake number 3.  Why? Because when I pulled it back out it was super hard to cut.  I think if it would have been allowed to harden at room temperature it would have been easy to cut and not have crumbled like mine did.  But after some hard work, and yes a little bit of sweat, I got it cut into some chunks.  Now it was time for chocolate.

Ok, so I couldn’t find almond bark or melting chips at the store I was at, so I had to pick up an alternative that I wasn’t to happy using, but it was the next best thing.  Chocolate chips.  Yes, like the kind you put in chocolate chip cookies.  So you’d think I would just melt them and coat my candy with it right?  Wrong.  Seems chocolate chips are too dense when melted.  It needs some fat in there to make it flow more.  Enter vegetable shortening.  Yes, we are talking about the Crisco here people.  Ok so here’s the recipe of how to make compound chocolate out Hershey’s chocolate chips.  Ok, so for every cup of chocolate chips you have, you add a tablespoon of shortening to the mix.  I used two cups of chocolate chips, roughly the whole 12 oz. bag, and two tablespoons of shortening.  I pop that into the microwave and microwave it for 40 seconds and then stir.  Then I put it in for 20 seconds and stirred.  20 seconds then stirred.  20 seconds then stirred.  You get the idea here again right?  Good.  So once it was melted I realized that I hadn’t cut the peanut butter mix beforehand, another thing I would suggest.  So I thought I could do it quickly.  As stated above, it took a while.  Well once I got it cut I was worried the chocolate would be hard again, but oddly enough it wasn’t.  It was still smooth and flowing…something I must admit freaked me out a bit.  Makes you wonder what that stuff does in the ol’ arteries.  But I digress.  Moving on.

So here I had my nice homemade compound chocolate.  I had two mini racks of yet to be coated Butterfinger bars.  So I started pouring the chocolate over the bars.  Mistake number 4.  Dip it people.  Your chocolate will go farther.  I didn’t realize that until I got done with the first rack.  The second rack I dipped as best I could in what was left of the chocolate…I was not making another batch.  For the most part things got covered, on top.  The bottoms of most of them were basically bare.  So dipping surely is the best way to stretch your chocolate and get full coverage.

I popped my Butterfingers into the fridge for about an hour to set.  I pulled them out and went to try one.  Mistake number 5.  People, when you are messing with candy or sticky stuff in general, coat whatever surface you are using in cooking spray or some cooking oil of some kind because it will stick otherwise.  I had chunks pull off in my hand but then leave the bottoms of the chunks attached to the rack.  *Shaking my head.*  So I grabbed a flipper and scraped off the bars as best I could.  Once off, I finally got the try the fruits of my labor.  Final thoughts?  The peanut better part tastes shockingly like the Butterfinger peanut butter, but it was more soft and chewy than hard and crunchy.  The product as a whole?  Yeah with the chocolate I wasn’t tasting Butterfinger, even though my friend swears it did taste like it.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t Butterfinger.  I still have a ton left in the fridge and I planned to give it a second try tomorrow since it will have had some time to “age”, and then see if maybe I can taste Butterfinger.  As it stands right now I don’t see myself making this recipe again.  It just wasn’t what I expected.  So now I have tons of peanut butter, chocolate chips and candy corn sitting around.  Humm, well the candy corn is in baggies so I can eat those as a little sugar kick…which I really don’t need after my visit with the dentist the other day.  As for the chocolate, there’s always uses for chocolate, so I’m not worried about it sitting around for too long.  And the peanut butter is destined for good ol’ fashion pb&j’s.  Yum.  But all-in-all I’d call this experiment a mixed success. I got what I started out to make…well…sort of, and it doesn’t taste bad just not really like Butterfinger.  So while it’s not 100% what I wanted it wasn’t 100% what I didn’t want.  So we will loosely call this a success.  Smile

So, tell me what you think.  Still want to try your own Butterfingers?  Have you already done it?   What did it taste like?  Did you use something different from me to get the taste you got?  Please share, I’d love to know.  Maybe with the right encouragement I’ll be willing to give it another try…next year.  Winking smile

And on that note I will bring the post to close.  It’s just after…4 a.m.!!!  What am I still doing up?!?   I wanted to craft in the morning!!!  I guess that’s not happening.  Oh well, early afternoon crafting is just as fun.  Hope all of you have a great and crafty weekend and I will talk to you soon.  Be good until then.  Bye for now.

Yawning and stretching,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Something Like Summer

So while I should have been busy crafting today, I realized a book my sister loaned to me 2 weeks ago on my Nook was about to expire, so I had to finish it tonight. I just finished it and I must say I was impressed.  The book is called Something Like Summer, and it was a rather interesting read.

It’s a romance novel about two teenage boys, Ben and Tim, who meet one summer due to Ben’s crush on the mysterious new guy in town Tim.  Something happen that lead to Ben and Tim being together.  They had a hot and steamy love affair, but some issues caused them to have to split up.  What follows is 10 years of life, love, and chance meetings.  Some really sad things happen along the way that leads to a bittersweet ending.  I wouldn’t say this book was destined to be one of the great classics of our time, but it was a rather good read.

Some parts I felt were rushed in the story, but it flow non-stop so that was good.  The author, Jay Bell who is a gay man himself, told the story in such a way that you didn’t view the story as “a love story between two guys” but more as “a love story between two people”.  I will warn you now, some of the sex scenes are written in a slightly graphic way, but nothing to raunchy…nothing worse than what you’d find in your male/female romance novels.

But I think anyone could relate to this story.  Young love, first love, and even a love triangle, which is what our main characters find themselves in after a while.  So if you are into romance novels, pick this story up.  I really think you will like it.

Sadly though, in reading the book it has gotten to late to craft, so I guess I will watch some things online and call it a day and make better use of my time tomorrow.  Not that today was a total loss.  I got to spend time with a friend and finish a good book.  Win/win?  I’d say so.  Winking smile  Talk to you all later.  Be good until then.  Bye for now.

Dreaming about what tomorrow will bring,

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Two Loves Together At Last

So I haven’t been really crafty as of late.  My worries over my health and the health of others really has been keeping me from being creative as of late.  One of the crafts I’ve really been missing is crochet.  Since finally learning it, I’ve just fallen in love with the calming rhythmic pattern of yarn over pull through the loop, but I just can’t find the time, energy, or creativity to sit down and do some.  Nothing created a strong enough need in me until I found my way onto a crafty young lady’s video on Youtube.  What did she create?  A character from one of my FAVORITE video games, Animal Crossing.  Along with that she made the character some clothing that reflects the clothing in the game.  So cute.  No really, it is.  Have a look.

Isn’t it, dare I say it, kawaii?!?  I know, I’m a goober.  LOL!  But seriously, it’s such a cute idea and I can’t believe I didn’t think of trying something like that myself.  But the good thing is she has resparked my need and want to crochet again.  I have these gloves I want to make out of this beaded pink yarn I’ve had for a while now.  I think now is the time to try them out.  Wish me luck. I’ll update you on how things are going.  Smile

And once again I am off.  I need to get dressed now to go out…on no sleep.  Ugh!  Sleepy smile  Oh well, I guess I can sleep when I’m dead…hopefully years and years and YEARS from now.  Ok, be good ladies and gents.  And I’ll talk to you all again soon.  Bye for now.

Wishing she could slip under her covers,

This Is Halloween

As the creepy  and cool holiday of Halloween nears, a lot of people are letting their creepy and cool sides hang out.  From cool decorations and costumes to awesome…Halloween lights?  Humm, I understand lights for Christmas, but Halloween?  I’d never seen a big Halloween light display, until today that is.  Seems this family Riverside, CA really likes Halloween.  On their Youtube channel they have videos dating back to 2008 of their Halloween extravaganzas.  Here’s their light show for this year.  It’s pretty awesome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

12 Years Ago Today

January 5, 1997-October 12, 1999

And I still can’t believe you are gone forever.  You are always in our hearts and thoughts.  We love you.

Love always,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hey guys! Guess what?!

Halloween will be here soon!  Just a little PSA from your friendly mousey gal.  Are you excited yet?!  I know I am.  Smile
Can’t wait to go look at Halloween decorations,

Maillardville Manor And Bathroom Transformations

So my friend has this problem.  She has to many bathrooms.  I know, anarchy right?  To many bathrooms.  She literally has two bathrooms in her master bedroom.  She has another in the house for her girls and guests to use, so she really doesn’t need another bathroom.  But one thing she could use is a craft room.  She uses a corner in her bedroom to craft in, but that bathroom is just calling out to her, and no not in a pee-pee dance sort of way.  She has visions of taking a sledgehammer to her garden tub and taking out the toilet and making the 7x7 room, with an additional walk-in closet, into her dream craft room.  But there is one tiny catch.  She want’s to leave it so if she decides to move she can quickly whip it back into a bathroom for those couples that demand their own bathrooms.  Totally makes sense, right?  Right.  Smile

So, are you guys following me so far?  Or are you having some trouble envisioning this awesome bathroom space?  Troubled?  Never fear, I’ve come prepared thanks to my friend’s super drawing skills.  Open-mouthed smile

Ok, so the black line at the bottom is the door into the bathroom.  On the right is the sink and counter area.  Go around the corner and you have a walk-in closet that my friend says you can easily have four people sitting down in there.  Awesome storage options!!!  Then in the upper right corner is the garden tub I can only imagine is itself awesome. Then to the left of that is the toilet.  I think  she said in between the toilet and tub is a window, there are some mirrors in the bathroom that look like windows.  I must go over there and see this room…but can I do it without being roped into manual labor, that is the question.  Winking smile  But my friend and I were looking around trying to find pictures of before and after bathroom transformations.  I couldn’t find any, but she found this crafty gal who managed to do so and it turned out…well…awesome.  LOL!  Sorry.  Smile

Anyway, so this gal who writes the blog Maillardville Manor explains how in her last house her and her husband took a bathroom they barely used and changed it into an office/craft area.  It was small but it was functional.  Have a look.

They went from this:


To this:


I know, impossible to believe this was a bathroom in a former life.  And see what I mean, it’s small, but functional.  And my friend has more room than this to play with so she could have a pretty nice craft room.  You need to go check out the post on Maillardville Manor about this amazing transformation.  But do you want to hear the extra cool part about this transformation?  They wanted to leave the bathroom so if they move, which they did, they could whip it back into a bathroom, which they did.  They hid the pipes in the cabinetry by cutting holes for it and plugging them so it was a easy switcharoo.

So in the end they ended up with this:


I promise you that’s the same room.  You can see it in this post on Maillardville Manor.  Who am I kidding, it’s still hard for me to believe it’s the same room.

But I love how even though she had so little room she still had everything in it’s place.  Her yarn, her scissors, her ribbons, and her office stuff.  So it just shows you that your only limitation is your mind.  I’m in such awe what this couple was able to accomplish and it just drives me to think outside of the box and really try to see my true vision in things.  Sometimes I think I have crafter’s block, but it really just is all a mind thing. If you think you have crafter’s block then you will because you think you do.  But if you just relax, take some deep breaths if needed, and let the creativity flow through you.  Sure you may not recreate a room, but I guarantee that whatever you do create will be, dare I say it, awesome.  Smile

I’ll talk to you lovelies later.  Stay crafty.  Be good until then.  Bye for now.  Smile

Lazily day-dreaming about craft rooms and crafty things,

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Part 2)

So a while back, about one or two years ago, on my doll blog I was pimping out this house across the street and to the left of my house that was just finished being built and for sale.  I was encouraging my hobby buddies to move in and be my neighbor.  That house was finally bought by a young guy in the military, his girlfriend, his baby, girlfriend’s mother, and his roommate.  Yep, packed house.  LOL!  But the same builder who built his house built the one directly in front of my house.  So now I’m offering this one to you.  LOL!  But I don’t know how excited you will be now knowing I keep such a watchful eye out.  LOL!  But look at it this way, you’d have the neighborhood watch right across the street from you.  What’s not to love???  You’re welcome.  Open-mouthed smile

So I guess I should show you the house you will be buying then.  Smile  Here goes, here are some pictures of what it looked like while being built.

Sorry for the blurry picture, this is how it was on the site.  This is the house’s early beginnings.  Before this much was done we were trying to figure out which way the house would face.  This house is on a corner and could face either way.  Usually houses on the corner in this neighborhood faces the side street that connects with the main street.  But this house faces out onto the main street towards us.


Side view of the house from the street it connects with.  The garage is huge.  Much Bigger than ours.  And those windows on the side are I believe two of the three bedrooms.  Funny, these pictures were taken about a year ago.



Back view of the house.  This lot it is on used to be wooded, so a good bulk of the trees remain on it.  So what you are seeing is the back door and a living room window and kitchen window.




Ok, so the next pictures are the outside view after it was finished being built.

This is a distance picture of the house.  This past December or January my mom took an awesome picture of the port-a-potty covered with snow.  Just had to mention that.  I think it is horrible the relator decided to keep that in the picture.  Why didn’t they photoshop it out?  But I digress.  So this house is a heather gray color.



A little closer view.  The door has a little window next to it, two big windows up front from I believe the kitchen, don’t quote me on that, and a double garage.  And it has a security light in back.  Please don’t use it, it’s bright and annoying.  I might have to stop being your friend if you use it. Laughing out loud



Now we pop inside the house. Smile

Walking in from the door you can see the living room with a lovely fireplace.  Perfect for those cold autumn and winter nights.





The spacious and open living room, dining room, and kitchen area along with the back door.





Just look at that crown molding.  Gives a special look and class to the room, don’t you think?





Here’s the kitchen.  Big and open with plenty of storage space.  And so brightly lit in the daytime and opened into the living area so you can stay connected with the whole house.  Now if you’ll just follow me down the hall to the guest bathroom.




A good size bathroom for guests and the rest of the family to use.  You have a bathtub and shower combination, standard toilet, and sink with counter space for odds-n-ends.  Let me show you the master bathroom.




A double vanity. Isn’t that nice?  No fighting for the mirror or sink with your husband or wife, you’ve got your own space.  Smile




And of course you have a toilet, and bathtub and shower combination.  Kind of wish it was a garden tub like the house next door and it doesn’t seem like it got the frosted glass like the house next door either. Bummer.  But still very nice.  Smile



And then the umm…walk-in closet in the master bedroom?  Humm, doesn’t look like much does it?  Kind of a bummer also, but has room for tons of improvement, or you can maybe change it to a crafty nook if you have other closet options like a wardrobe.  Be creative.  Smile



Thank you for touring the house and I hope you saw something of interest that makes you consider buying it.  What?  Oh you want to know the price?  Ummm…well umm…keep in mind it used to be $139,950.  The builder recently dropped it to $136,950.  Pretty awesome right?  Which means you only have a monthly payment of $805.  Open-mouthed smile  So, what do you think?  Want to be my neighbor?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll get the needed info to you asap.  Winking smile

Ok, so I had to be playful today.  I was joking with friends today that they needed to come buy the house so I could stop wondering who will move in.  It’s been on the market for months now and I just want someone to move in already.  And it seems the builder feels the same way since he dropped the price in July.  They recently had an open house, and still no takers.  Who knows, maybe one day soon someone will move in and the mystery will be over.  But I swear, if they use that security light, there’ll be a price to pay!!!  *shakes fist in air*

And I’m off people.  I’ve got another house related post for you, but this one is actually craft related.  No, I’m serious.  Give me a bit and I’ll post it for you.  Trust me, you’ll be in awe.  Smile   Until then, be good.  Bye for now.

Still wondering who will move in,