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Thursday, August 30, 2012

LaForce Likes #20

It's always neat to see every day items repurposed and very popular item is wine bottles... whether it be the corks or the bottles themselves used in decor.

This LaForce Likes is a very creative and functional way to recycle a wine bottle into an outdoor lantern. It may be a little tricky to DIY yourself without a lot of research and tools for glass cutting but the end result is great!


I found this on pinterest from FLOR's blog but there are many sites with various versions of this. Has anyone done any glass cutting or DIY projects with glass like this?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Craft Fail to Craft Fab: the dress

Just keeping it real... with crafting and DIY there are bound to be some fails. At least this one has a happy ending.

I had the brilliant ambitious idea that when I visited my parents for a few days in July that my mom and I (mainly mom since it was her sewing machine) should make a dress for me. Not a dress from a pattern... even though she did that for me in college and it turned out great. I wanted to try one of those dresses I had seen on pinterest where you sew fabric to a shirt or tank to make a dress. And I had picked out such pretty fabric for it that I found on sale at JoAnn's.

This turned into quite a challenge as we attempted to figure out how much material to use for gathering the fabric to the top and then when the 2 were finally sewed together it stretched the top some since the shirt had some stretch in it. It was one of those basic scoop neck knit tops from target.

At this point we were quite frustrated as it looked much easier on pinterest and the concept didn't really work out as planned. It was bigger from the stretching and not flattering. Maybe this would have worked out for a bigger person but I did not want to wear something that was hanging off me.

While standing in my mom's sewing area, I was holding a bunch of excess around the back of the dress so it looked tighter and saying "I wish it could fit like this or have a way to make it scrunch up. Then we decided why not just make a sash out of the material that I could tie around to make it fit like I wanted. My mom added the loops made out of thread (you know those ones that sometimes come on dresses with a belt) that I could put the sash through and we made the sash long enough for me to tie it in a bow.

Exhibit A: craft fail

Exhibit B: craft fab

Shirt:target, Fabric:Joann's, Sandals:Kim Rogers, Earrings:The Limited

Perfection! So glad all that time didn't go to waste and I think I like it even better with a sash. And hey if I suddenly go on a dessert-only diet, this will be my go to outfit due to it's expandable nature. I want to get a wide brown belt for another option too.

I have no idea how others got theirs to work... may be since they used elastic as the connector for the fabric and top... or they tried to get tops with as little stretch as possible.... who knows?! If you have any ideas I would love to hear them although it may be a little bit before I can convince mom to attempt another dress :)  Perhaps next time we will stick with a dress pattern or do a skirt - much much easier.

Linking up at these fun parties

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Easy Fruit Pizza

I wanted to make a new dessert for a cookout with friends at our house this summer and had my eye on fruit pizza for awhile since I had never made it before. It's a delicious dessert that doesn't feel heavy and can be prepared ahead of time. This is a must try before summer fruits stop being available!
I found an easy recipe here and tweaked it to my liking.

 Fruit Pizza
adapted from Pillsbury, serves about 10

1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough (16.5oz)
8oz cream cheese, can use reduced fat
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
cut fruit for topping: fresh peaches, kiwi, blackberries

Spray pizza pan with cooking spray and press dough evenly onto pan. Bake for 16-20 min at 350 degrees. Cool completely. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with hand mixer on medium until fluffy. Spread mixture over sugar cookie. Store in refrigerator for at least an hour. I used toothpicks stuck into the cookie to keep the saran wrap from messing up the icing. Store cut fruit in refrigerator as well. Before serving arrange fruit on top. Cut into wedges or squares.

I think waiting to put the fruit on until right before serving kept it fresher and prevented fruit juice from potentially seeping into the icing. You can use any fruits you choose but these 3 were a nice combination.

Come on in for the real thing. Mmmmm...

Easy peasy, 5 ingredients, fresh, sweet and yummy! Definitely will be making again and would be perfect for showers. Let me know what you think.

Linking up at these fun parties

Friday, August 17, 2012

Visiting Denver

A visit to Denver to see one of my closest friends was state number 19 for me! (Since then I have added 20) As I mentioned, Vickie and I spent a weekend visiting Brooke and our sorority sis Brett.

Vickie spent a little time in Brett's neighborhood Thursday night while my flight was delayed (almost cancelled whew!) I arrived pretty late and we grabbed Vickie and all headed to Brooke's apt to rest up for a fun weekend.

this is Brooke's apt in the daytime- the walkway to the left takes you across to downtown

Friday morning the four of us explored Red Rocks, which was on my list of must-sees. It would be amazing to see a concert here.

There were a bunch of people exercising and even a high school football team training by carrying each other up the steps. If you don't live in Denver you can tell that you breathe a little heavier at the high altitudes but it wasn't anything really noticeable. I am sure you feel it quickly when working out though.

The Red Rocks museum contained lists of all that had ever performed there and the history of the amphitheater and rocks.

they are bigger than you think

We had lunch fairly close to where Brett lives and went to a couple shops and to Wash park.

Then we had delicious ice cream at Sweet Action... great name. I had cinnamon vegan ice cream that was amazing... tasted just like regular ice cream but without all the fatty stuff like milk and cream.

Friday night we went out to dinner and several bars downtown. Brooke's apt is only about a 15 min walk to downtown... nice area and close to so many things.
on the walk to the bars
One casual bar, Gin Mill had a great back patio where people played flip cup and beer pong and they had free popcorn. More bars should definitely have free popcorn.

Another sorority sister Mary joined us for a bit there. Here are all of the girls.

Saturday we went to the 16th Street mall. It had a bunch of big name stores like H&M and Forever 21.

We ate lunch nearby at the Paramount cafe that we just happened upon. The turkey burger was delicious and outdoor seating was nice.

That afternoon we walked around more downtown. We visited the capitol building with the famous one mile above sea level marker.

Oh and Vic mimicked the pose of these statues.

Saturday night Brooke, Vickie and I went to the Rockies game vs. the Padres. Stubhub was sold out but we easily scalped tickets near the stadium which was a 20 min walk from the apt.

The Rockies didn't win but there were amazing fireworks after. They allow everyone in the "debris zone" cheap seats onto the field to watch instead. We moved down closer for the long show.

After we visited one bar brewery before heading back. The Denver area has many local breweries.

Sunday we met up with Brett again and visited the giant REI store that was a stone's throw from Brooke's apt. It was several levels and even had a large rock wall inside. The rentals for biking, skiing, backpacking, etc are popular for the outdoorsy lifestyle there.

We walked to the Highland area (artsy district) and had lunch at Ale House at Amato's. The upstairs patio was great and I had a fabulous grilled cheese with goat cheese and avocado. Yum!

Then it was time to bid farewell to Denver and head to the airport. Fun weekend with great girls!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This is where I tell you about why I haven't been blogging recently....

I started a new job at work a couple of weeks ago (same company) so of course any time you take a new job/position it's busy and stressful at first as you are getting acclimated. Throw a very critical project with extremely tight deadlines in our near future on top and you just multiplied that ten-fold.

I've been jet setting across the US... those of you who do it know traveling for work is not glamorous. Last week Plano (state #20 for me). This week Westlake Village, CA. And just working my butt off on this project.

So that is my excuse reason for slacking on the blog posts. The small amount of personal time I have had lately has been spent enjoying time with the hubby or working out.. still going strong with my new years goal of 4 workouts per week woohoo!! (minus a couple weeks I was sick in Feb)

The good news is I do have a few draft posts in the works and I hope to finish a couple of those up this weekend like the trip I took to Denver.

Thanks for hanging in there while things are hectic!

Monday, August 6, 2012

LaForce Likes #19

This LaForce Likes is dedicated to our purple perennials out front called Verbenas. We decided to plant some perennials in the late spring so we picked these up at Lowes because we liked the purple flowers and we're told they have a long blooming season (spring til close to frost) and were heat tolerant. We grabbed 2 small $5 a piece plants.

It was touch and go for the first couple weeks when they appeared to be dying but shortly after that they started perking up and filled out a lot. They spread very quickly too which was a nice surprise after seeing that our 2 small plants didn't cover the area as much as we hoped initially. We've even had to trim them back periodically.

Verbenas also attract butterflies... Eric snapped this with his phone one day - see the brown and yellow butterfly (kinda blurry but you get the idea).

We are no planting/landscaping experts but are very pleased with the pop of purple added to our lawn with some pretty low maintenance flowers!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

summer time 2012

Here are some events from our wonderful summer....
We went to Kiawah for a few days with some friends. The weather was great. We spent lots of time relaxing on the beach and went on a long bike ride one evening. We grilled our dinners and we got to see next years HGTV dream home in progress.

first night at Red's restaurant

On the way home Eric and I stopped by the Angel Oak on John's Island (thought to be one of the oldest living organisms east of the Mississippi) which is on the road back in from Kiawah Island.

Brooke came back for a long visit since leaving Charlotte last August. We went out in NoDa and Plaza Midwood a couple of nights. We also went to the farmers market and cooked dinners at the house and went to Cabo Fish Taco one night (great little restaurant in NoDa).
Philosopher's Stone

I went to visit Brooke in Denver for a weekend (another post on this soon).

While I was in Denver, Eric spent some time with his parents and the nieces and nephew at Carowinds one evening. This was the weekend it went up to 105 here... glad I missed that heat!

I went to FL for a couple of days to see my parents and best friend. We had a 4th of July cookout and of course my dad set off a ton of fireworks :)

We have also been grilling a lot with friends and enjoying fresh summer produce. Hope you are having a great summer so far!

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